5 things to know about new Giants WR Pharoh Cooper
The Giants announced on Wednesday that veteran wide receiver Pharoh Cooper has been signed to the team's practice squad.
Here are five things to know about the 26-year-old receiver and special teams ace:
1. Cooper is entering his sixth season in the NFL after being drafted in the fourth round (117th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. Cooper was with the Rams until late in the 2018 season, when he was waived and claimed by the Arizona Cardinals. Between the 2019 and 2020 seasons, Cooper spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals, another stint with the Cardinals, and a season with the Carolina Panthers. He spent training camp and the preseason with the Jacksonville Jaguars this year before being released on cut down day.
2. Cooper has played in 62 career games with six starts, catching 55 passes for 506 yards and a touchdown. He has also made a big impact on special teams, returning 82 punts for 729 yards (8.9 avg.) and 104 kickoffs for 2,523 yards (24.3 avg.) and a touchdown.
3. He put together his best season in 2017 when he returned 34 kickoffs for 932 yards, good for a league-high average of 27.4 yards per return, and a touchdown, while also returning 32 punts for 399 yards (12.5 avg.). Cooper was named a First-Team All-Pro as a returner while also making his first and only trip to the Pro Bowl that year.
4. Cooper enjoyed a successful three-year career at the University of South Carolina. He didn't do much as a freshman, gaining 256 total yards from scrimmage with two touchdowns in nine games. But as a sophomore, Cooper caught 69 passes for 1,136 yards and nine touchdowns, adding another two scores on the ground, and was named First-Team All-SEC. He followed that up the next year by catching 66 passes for 973 yards and eight touchdowns, with an additional rushing touchdown. He was once again named First-Team All-SEC.
5. Pharoh Cooper was born in Havelock, North Carolina, where he attended Havelock High School. While there, he led his school to back-to-back 3A state titles while playing quarterback, running back, wide receiver and defensive back. He played in the Carolina Shrine Game, where he finished with 253 total yards and was named offensive MVP of the North Carolina squad. Cooper was a sport and entertainment major at South Carolina.
View rare photos of the history between the Giants and Raiders ahead of their Week 9 matchup.
Giants begin Raiders prep with 3 players in COVID protocol
The pandemic unexpectedly intruded today on the Giants, who had to alter their first workday of the week because of COVID-19.
Coach Joe Judge announced the team had 13 positive results among those tested yesterday. That group included some players. All 13 were retested and the only positive in Round 2 was running backs coach Burton Burns, who turned 69 last week.
Three players missed practice today because they are in the NFL COVID protocol: running back Saquon Barkley (who has missed the last three games with an ankle injury), left guard Matt Skura and safety Xavier McKinney.
"It's a 2020-2021 NFL season," safety Logan Ryan said. "It's nothing new. We wear tracers every day, get COVID tested, so stuff like this comes up. Obviously, results have got to come back. I'm not going to speak too much on it, but we obviously had experience with this last season. It's been a different type of football these last couple of years. We've got to be able to adjust on the fly, so we're well-trained and versed in that. Whatever it has to be, we'll do whatever it is to keep everyone safe."
The 2-6 Giants will host the 5-2 Las Vegas Raiders Sunday before their Week 10 bye. Today, the Giants conducted a walkthrough, which was delayed about an hour because of the additional testing, so practice participation is an estimation.
Will today's news affect who is available for the game?
"That's all still to be determined," Judge said. "They're going through all the steps which takes about a day of going through it with the (athletic) trainers and the close contacts and the tracers and all that stuff. In terms of any answers as far as Sunday or even something that would lead into tomorrow's practice, we don't have any definite answers except for really Burton right now would be the only one."
Sights & Sounds: Behind the scenes, under the lights
Check out the video below to get a sideline view of Monday Night Football between the New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs in Sights & Sounds.