Philadelphia Eagles: Riley Cooper's Injury Won't Really Affect the Team

Cody Swartz@cbswartz5Senior Writer IJuly 29, 2012

SEATTLE - DECEMBER 01:  Wide receiver Riley Cooper #14 of the Philadelphia Eagles misses this pass against Brandon Browner #39 of the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on December 1, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Training camp has officially begun, meaning the start of the 2012 NFL season is just around the corner. While there’s nothing more exciting than making the drive to Lehigh Valley to watch the Philadelphia Eagles engaging in their summer practices, there’s nothing worse than hearing the news of an injury to an expected contributor.

That being said, the news that wide receiver Riley Cooper will miss up to six weeks with a broken collarbone really doesn’t mean much in terms of the status of the Eagles. 

Cooper has spent the last two seasons as a fourth or fifth receiver with the team, totaling 23 catches for 431 yards and two touchdowns in 29 games. He really hasn’t provided much of an impact either way for the team.

Cooper is 6’3”, 222 pounds, and he has good leaping ability, although that hasn’t really parlayed into much success at the NFL level. What his injury will do though is allow this past year’s sixth-round draft pick, Marvin McNutt, to take more reps in place of Cooper.

McNutt has good size, and while he lacks explosive speed, he is a physical, aggressive receiver that isn’t afraid to go across the middle. He had an extremely successful four-year collegiate career at the University of Iowa, and the expectations are high that he will develop into a solid receiver in the National Football League.

Cooper probably will be back sometime early in the season—my guess would be Week 1 or 2—but by then, McNutt may have played well enough that he keeps the fourth receiver job. Or it could be one of the other candidates that wins it in camp, notably Damaris Johnson or Chad Hall.