ALAMEDA (AP) — Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper practiced Friday for the first time since suffering a concussion and a sprained ankle two weeks ago.
The two-time Pro Bowl receiver ran and caught passes during the light workout before the team left for Kansas City. Cooper did not talk to reporters and is listed as questionable on the Raiders injury report.
“Coop was pretty gradual throughout the week,” Oakland coach Jack Del Rio said. “Getting better every day, did some running on the side earlier in the week. Moved around pretty good today. We’ll see. He’s questionable, and we’ll see. Moved around pretty well today.”
If Cooper is able to play against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, it would be an unexpected and welcomed surprise for the Raiders offense.
Cooper and fellow wide receiver Michael Crabtree both sat out Oakland’s win over the New York Giants. Crabtree, who was serving a one-game NFL suspension for his role in an on-field altercation with Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib, returned to practice earlier this week.
Without Cooper and Crabtree, the Raiders leaned heavily on Cordarrelle Patterson, Johnny Holton and Seth Roberts against the Giants. The trio combined for 12 catches, 182 yards and one touchdown.
Oakland may need the three again if Cooper is unable to play. He cleared the concussion protocol earlier in the week but continues to be slowed by a left ankle sprain. Cooper, who is tied with Crabtree with 42 catches this season, limped noticeably after getting injured and was in a walking boot briefly.
Del Rio said he already has a good read on Cooper’s status but declined to say whether it will be a game-time decision or not.
“You learn in this business to kind of figure out who you can trust and not trust,” Del Rio said. “First, the doctors have to clear him. If the player really wants to go and he’s moving around well enough, then I typically let him go. We’ll see how it looks.”
The Raiders beat the Chiefs in Oakland earlier this season with a dramatic fourth-quarter comeback but haven’t won at Arrowhead Stadium since 2012 — two years before quarterback Derek Carr arrived as the 36th overall pick in the NFL draft.
“It’s something that we have not been able to do since I’ve been here,” Carr said. “It’s loud, it’s fun, and I like playing in the noise because you’re in your own little zone. You cancel everything else out. I do enjoy going there, but it would feel a lot better afterwards if we could win a game.”
Del Rio is 4-6 against the Chiefs overall but only 1-4 at Arrowhead Stadium, notoriously one of the toughest road venues in the NFL.
“It’s just one of those places that’s tough to play in,” Del Rio said. “Good football is required, I know that. You don’t go in there and play bad football and win a game. In that environment, you have to go and play well. You have to be able to have poise in the noise. That’s part of it. And you have to play well in all three phases.”
Notes: Guard Jon Feliciano (concussion) is out while linebacker Cory James (knee) and defensive lineman Jihad Ward (foot) are doubtful after not practicing Friday. Cornerback David Amerson (mid-foot sprain), defensive lineman Denico Autry (hand), fullback Jamize Olawale (ankle) and wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (hip) were limited and are questionable.
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