Brandin Cooks

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/29/21

Several key players returned to practice Wednesday. Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Rico Bussey

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/22/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list today. In some instances (including Christian McCaffrey and Travis Etienne), players activated from the list remain on IR:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Placed on list: T Le’Raven Clark

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Texans Place Brandin Cooks On Reserve/COVID-19 List

On the cusp of his sixth 1,000-yard receiving season, Brandin Cooks may not be able to push for that again until next week. He landed on the Texans’ reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday.

The Texans also placed kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn and linebacker Eric Wilson on their coronavirus list. This trio joins several others at present. Although the NFL relaxed protocols to allow for quicker returns for vaccinated players, this will still be a hurdle for Cooks and Co.

The thrice-traded wide receiver eclipsed 100 yards and scored two touchdowns in Houston’s win over Jacksonville last week. Cooks is now up to 947 yards this season. The eighth-year veteran would have two more chances to surpass 1,000 yards, in the event he is cleared before Week 17.

Cooks and Fairbairn are believed to be vaccinated, but David Culley said last week Wilson was not. The veteran defender will miss the team’s Week 16 game against the Chargers. Missing Sunday’s game would be another setback for Fairbairn, who began the season in Week 4 after an IR placement in September.

Texans Cancel Wednesday Practice

Houston was the site of a bizarre headline today. The Texans canceled their Wednesday practice and sent the team home due to a handful of players having non-COVID illnesses, reports Brooks Kubena of the Houston Chronicle

[RELATED: Texans Designate Britt For Return]

“Our medical team felt like it would be best for us to, for precautionary reasons, just to keep them home,” head coach David Culley said. “We’ll be back to business as usual tomorrow.”

According to an estimated practice report, wide receivers Chris Conley and Brandin Cooks, along with running back David Johnson and offensive tackle Cole Toner are listed as out due to sickness. The Texans, on a short week, did not conduct a full scrimmage today.

Without any players testing positive for COVID-19 as of this writing, the Texans are still on track to play on Sunday, when the host the Colts.

Texans Unlikely To Trade WR Brandin Cooks

Houston wide receiver Brandin Cooks is no stranger to trade rumors, having been dealt three times in his career. The 1-6 Texans are obvious trade deadline sellers, and Cooks — a high-end talent who is only under club control through the 2022 season — has naturally drawn interest from other clubs.

Those clubs may have been buoyed in their pursuit by the fact that Cooks took to Twitter to voice his displeasure when Houston traded good friend Mark Ingram earlier this week. However, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says the Texans are unlikely to trade Cooks. Rookie GM Nick Caserio reportedly sees Cooks as a foundational talent that he can build around, and it sounds as if he would demand a hefty return if he were to trade his WR1.

Cooks’ $12.5MM base salary for 2022 is reasonable for a player of his caliber, which explains both why Caserio wants to keep him around and why he is piquing the interest of contending teams hoping to acquire him. Despite catching passes from struggling rookie Davis Mills for most of the year, Cooks has tallied 45 receptions for 502 yards and a score.

Of course, most of the trade chatter surrounding the Texans has been focused upon QB Deshaun Watson, but we learned earlier today that Watson is not expected to be dealt prior to Tuesday’s deadline. However, LB Zach Cunningham is on the trading block, and other veterans like QB Tyrod Taylor, RB Phillip Lindsay, LB Christian Kirksey, and CB Desmond King could also be on the move.

Speaking of King, the former First-Team All-Pro was scratched from today’s game against the Rams for disciplinary reasons, as Aaron Wilson of SportsTalk 790 tweets. King reportedly had an unexcused absence from a team activity, and like Cooks, he may be unhappy with the current state of the Texans. Unlike Cooks, he might get a chance to suit up for a contender this year.

Latest On Texans WR Brandin Cooks

With a 1-6 record, the Texans have started to deal off some veterans…and it sounds like one of their locker room leaders is unhappy about the direction of the squad. Following tonight’s trade that sent Mark Ingram to New Orleans, Texans wideout Brandin Cooks took to Twitter to show his displeasure.

[RELATED: Texans Trading RB Mark Ingram To Saints]

This is bulls***,” Cooks said. “Such a joke.”

This obviously isn’t a great look for an organization that considers Cooks to be both a leader and a foundational piece (per ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter). From Cooks’ perspective, the frustration makes some sense; per Aaron Wilson (on Twitter), Cooks and Ingram are “very close friends.”

The Texans have moved on from their starting RB, they’re expected to trade franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson, and they recently put defensive leader Zach Cunningham on the trading block. While the front office apparently has future plans for Cooks, there’s no denying that he’s one of the organization’s best trade chips (especially considering he’s only owed $1.5MM for the rest of the season, per ESPN’s Field Yates on Twitter). Earlier today, the 28-year-old had a much more measured response when asked about potentially being traded (via Wilson on Twitter).

“At the end of the day, guys know it’s a business,” said Cooks. “We go to do the best we can. All that type of stuff takes care of itself. It’s a decision that’s out of your control.”

Despite the uncertainty at the quarterback position, Cooks has still put up solid numbers in 2021. Through the first seven games, the veteran wideout has hauled in 45 receptions for 502 yards (albeit with only one touchdown).

Texans LB Zach Cunningham On Trade Block

While the Deshaun Watson rumors have placed the Texans at the NFL’s trade forefront throughout this year, the rebuilding club has other pieces that could move ahead of the Nov. 2 deadline. Last season’s tackles leader is one of them.

The Texans have made Zach Cunningham available, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com notes (ESPN+ link). Considering Cunningham’s recent role reduction, this certainly is not a surprise. Should Cunningham be dealt, he would follow longtime inside linebacker mate Benardrick McKinney out the door.

Houston traded McKinney to Miami in March, though McKinney was later cut and has made his way to the Giants. McKinney missed much of last season, but Cunningham was on the field throughout. The plus run defender led the NFL with 164 tackles (106 solo — also an NFL-high tally), this production coming shortly after he signed a four-year, $58MM extension. The previous Texans regime authorized that deal, but Cunningham has seen his playing time dramatically reduced this year.

After playing 100% of Houston’s defensive snaps in Weeks 1 and 3, Cunningham checked in with a sub-30% workload over the past two games. David Culley referred to him as a two-down player recently. Having such a player attached to a $14.5MM-per-year contract is not ideal. The Texans would need to eat more than $15MM in dead money to trade Cunningham, though they made a potential deal easier with a restructure earlier this year. Cunningham is playing on a $990K base salary this season.

Cunningham’s stock drop under the Culley-Nick Caserio regime aside, the Texans are not planning to trade their two high-priced players on offense — Laremy Tunsil and Brandin Cooks — barring big offers, Fowler adds. Houston’s bevy of veterans on short-term deals could generate interest this week, but it appears the new regime still views Tunsil and Cooks as useful for the long-term mission.

This Date In Transactions History: 2014 NFL Draft

The first-round of the 2014 NFL Draft took place seven years ago today. While there was plenty of hype heading into the first day of the draft, surely no one expected the first round to produce so many accomplished players. Among the 32 individuals who heard their name called on May 8, 2014, 17 of those players eventually earned Pro Bowl nods. That’s not shabby.

From a transactions standpoint, there were five trades completed on that Thursday evening, with the Browns and Vikings starring in a handful of the deals. While there were whispers that the first-overall pick could get traded from Houston, the Texans ultimately kept the selection and drafted Jadeveon Clowney at No. 1.

The first trade of the evening was between the Browns and Bills. Cleveland wanted to move back to select a cornerback, so they sent No. 4 to Buffalo for No. 9, a future first, and a future fourth. The Bills ended up selecting wideout Sammy Watkins. As the first round continued to progress, the Browns apparently didn’t feel comfortable staying at No. 9. So, they packaged that selection and a future fifth-round pick to the Vikings for the No. 8 pick, and they proceeded to select cornerback Justin Gilbert. The Vikings selected linebacker Anthony Barr with their new selection.

The Saints later got into the action, acquiring the No. 20 pick from the Cardinals to select receiver Brandin Cooks. New Orleans sent Arizona No. 27 and No. 91, with the Cards selecting safety Deone Bucannon with that first-round selection.

The Browns made another trade later in the night, this time in pursuit of a quarterback. Cleveland traded No. 26 and No. 83 to Philly in exchange for No.22…and the Browns ultimately selected quarterback Johnny Manziel. Really, the writing was on the wall with that selection; the team had previously drafted two other QB busts (Brandon Weeden, Brady Quinn) at that same spot in the draft.

The last trade of the evening once again featured the Vikings. Minnesota acquired the No. 32 pick from the Seahawks for picks No. 40 and No. 108. The Vikings used their new selection on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

It was surely an entertaining evening, with Cleveland serving as the star of the show. However, fast forward to today, and Browns fans are surely still shaking their head at how everything unfolded.

This Date In Transactions History: Rams Trade Brandin Cooks To Texans

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Rams trading Brandin Cooks to the Texans. The deal netted the Rams a second-round pick in exchange for the wide receiver and a future fourth-round choice. For Cooks, it was familiar territory — this was the third trade of his career.

[RELATED: Patriots Trade Cooks To Rams] 

Cooks, who was still only 26 at the time, was well-traveled at this point. Two years prior, the Patriots sent him to L.A. (along with a fourth-rounder) for a first-round choice and a sixth-rounder. And, in 2017, the Saints traded Cooks to the Patriots for a first- and third-round pick. It’s not unusual for players on the NFL fringe to cycle through teams, but Cooks had the rare distinction of being simultaneously desirable and very much tradable.

In 2018, his first year with the Rams, Cooks managed a career-high 1,204 receiving yards. Things were going well for all parties in L.A. — Cooks helped the Rams reach the Super Bowl and he had a contract to match his performance, a pricey five-year, $81MM extension with $50.5MM locked in. Then, in 2019, Cooks capped his year with just 635 yards. The most troubling part was that he suffered yet another concussion, which sidelined him for two games.

Cooks’ talent has never been in question, but his health history was another story. The Rams were now in a difficult spot, with millions and millions of dollars committed to Cooks through 2023. The deal left them with $21.8MM in dead money and less draft capital than they gave up just a couple years prior. The Texans got Cooks and the rest of his contract — an $8MM base salary in 2020, followed by $12MM, $13MM, and $14MM through 2023.

The Rams went on to turn that pick into Van Jefferson. The wide receiver out of Florida was used sparingly in the regular season, catching 19 balls for 220 yards and one touchdown. All in all, he was targeted just 31 times with 118 special teams appearances. On the plus side, he flashed in the playoffs with six grabs for 46 yards and one TD vs. the Packers. Aaron Rodgers & Co. came out on top, but Jefferson gave a glimpse of what could be in store.

Cooks went on to turn 81 receptions into 1,150 yards and six touchdowns for the Texans. In an otherwise tumultuous year, he was a bright spot. Now, they’ll count on him and Randall Cobb to keep the chains moving with Will Fuller out of the picture. If Cooks stays concussion-free, the trade will go down as a clear win for the Texans, even as their quarterback situation remains murky.

This Date In Transactions History: Patriots Trade Brandin Cooks To Rams

When Brandin Cooks was traded to the Patriots in 2017, there was hope that the wideout would stick around New England as one of Tom Brady‘s top targets. About 13 months later, Cooks tenure with the team had come to an end. On this date in 2018, the Patriots traded the wide receiver to the Rams.

Cooks was plenty productive during his lone season in New England, with the wideout leading the air attack (alongside Rob Gronkowski) following Julian Edelman‘s season-ending injury. The receiver finished the regular season having hauled in 65 receptions for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns, and hee continued producing in the postseason, catching another 19 receptions for 292 yards.

That performance apparently wasn’t enough, as the Patriots sent him out on April 3, 2018. Perhaps the team was wary of Cooks’ impending free agency following the 2018 campaign, or perhaps they thought Brady and Bill Belichick‘s clout would land them a comparable (and/or cheaper) receiver via free agency. Either way, New England ultimately sent Cooks and a fourth-rounder to the Rams in exchange for a first-rounder (a pick that eventually turned into lineman Isaiah Wynn) and a sixth-rounder. The Rams subsequently signed the receiver to a pricey five-year, $81MM extension (including $50.5MM guaranteed).

Even though Cooks didn’t last all that long is Los Angeles, it’s hard to be too critical of the Rams. Cooks had a 1,200-yard season during his first year with the Rams, but he fell off in 2019, compiling only 635 yards from scrimmage in 14 games. Following the season, the Rams paired Cooks with a fourth-rounder and sent him to the Texans for a second-rounder (which ultimately turned into receiver Van Jefferson).

Similarly, it’s hard to be too critical of the Patriots; after all, Wynn is a fine consolation. However, the Patriots’ motivation for the trade has never really been explained. While the financial reasons were obvious, it was assumed that the organization would subsequently replace Cooks spot in the lineup. The team was also especially shallow at wideout after Danny Amendola signed with the Dolphins.

While New England would be connected to a number of receivers throughout that 2018 campaign, the team never did anything to significantly improve their receiver corps. That 2018 squad finished without a 1,000-yard receiver, with running back James White leading the squad in receptions. Per usual, that didn’t end up mattering all that much; the Patriots still won the Super Bowl that season after beating (you guessed it) the Rams. While the Patriots selected receiver N’Keal Harry in the first round of the 2019 draft, they never really added another veteran receiver like Brady desired, an issue that was exacerbated after Gronkowski’s sudden retirement. That 2019 campaign would ultimately be Brady’s final season in New England.

Is there any takeaway from this trade? Maybe, but I’ll probably end up pulling something with this stretch. Brady was clearly dissatisfied with his weapons during his final seasons in New England. At the time of this trade three years ago, there were already whispers of tension within the Patriots organization. We can only assume that the quarterback wasn’t happy about the trade made on April 3, 2018, and it could have been one of the many reasons (or at least a contributing factor) that ultimately led Brady to walk away from the organization.