Riley Cooper is back at Eagles camp after excused absence
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen was the first reporter to drop this bombshell from the Philadelphia Eagles’ training camp:
Riley Cooper is at Eagles facility this morning.
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) August 6, 2013
Per Albert Breer of the NFL Network, Cooper’s re-emergence took many by surprise. He met with team officials at the NovaCare Complex facility, and will reportedly participate in practice and be available to the media after.
Cooper, of course, was excused from all team activities last Friday and told to seek counseling after he was caught making a racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert in June. Cooper practiced with the team just once after the video went viral last Wednesday.
“This is all new territory and we are going to evaluate this timetable every step of the way,” the Eagles said in a statement last Friday. “He will meet with professionals provided by the Eagles during this period of time to better help him understand how his words have hurt so many, including his teammates.”
To add a little spice to this, the Eagles will be taking part in a joint practice with the New England Patriots today, which will make this the first time Tim Tebow’s ever been on a football field without anyone paying attention to him. Oh, wait — silly us. Tebow was Cooper’s quarterback at Florida, so he’s in for a media scrum of his own.
“The last few days have been incredibly difficult for me,” Cooper said in a statement before leaving the team. “My actions were inexcusable. The more I think about what I did, the more disgusted I get. I keep trying to figure out how I could have said something so repulsive, and what I can do to make things better.
“Right now, I think it’s important for me to take some time to reflect on this situation. The organization and my teammates have been extremely supportive, but I also realize that there are people who will have a tough time forgiving me for what I’ve done. The best thing for me, and for the team, is to step away for a period of time. During this time I’m going to be speaking with a variety of professionals to help me better understand how I could have done something that was so offensive, and how I can start the healing process for everyone. As long as it takes, and whatever I have to do, I’m going to try to make this right.”