LONDON (AP) — Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden insists he’s not shopping Amari Cooper to other teams.
He’s more worried about the wide receiver’s health after a helmet-to-helmet hit knocked Cooper out of Sunday’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Gruden denied a report by Fox Sports before the game that the Raiders (1-5) have been in discussions to trade Cooper, the two-time Pro Bowler who was being evaluated for a concussion after a hit from safety Bradley McDougald during the 27-3 loss at Wembley Stadium.
“I haven’t heard that,” Gruden said about any trade talks. “I’m just sorry I have to deal with a lot of these reports. But I just hope Amari is OK. Like I say, he’s going to be a big part of our pass offense.”
The hit from McDougald came early in the second quarter after Cooper couldn’t hold on to a low pass from Derek Carr. Cooper stayed down on the ground for treatment before being taken to the locker room for evaluation.
There was no flag on the play, but Gruden said it should have been called for a helmet-to-helmet hit.
“I thought so,” Gruden said. “I’m just hoping Amari is OK. I’m not going to say anything else. I hope he’s all right. He’s a great kid.”
McDougald defended the hit as simply being part of the Seahawks’ style of being physical on defense.
“That’s our style of play. That’s kind of the Seahawks’ identity,” McDougald said. “Don’t get me wrong — we’re not trying to injure guys. We’re not trying to take guys out of the game. We’re just trying to really play physical. . I wish nothing bad on Amari Cooper. I hope he gets healthy. But we’re just trying to set a tone out there that we’re just trying to be physical when you touch the ball.”
The Seahawks also sacked Carr six times and forced two fumbles from the quarterback, which led to 10 Seattle points.
Carr, who said he was OK despite leaving the field holding his left arm gingerly following Oakland’s last drive, was also surprised that McDougald wasn’t called for a penalty.
“I was. I asked (the officials) obviously,” Carr said. “I didn’t really see how the guy hit him. I can’t stand here and say I saw, exactly, hit him in the head or anything like that. I just saw the outcome and I tried to defend my teammate. I ran over there and was yelling and all that. . I just wanted to protect my guy.”