Cooley's progress to be determined Monday
Redskins tight end Chris Cooley will have a follow-up appointment to evaluate the broken bone in his right ankle next Monday, an appointment that could help determine exactly how much time he'll miss.
Cooley, who broke the bone in the Oct. 26 loss to Philadelphia, will miss the first game of his six-year career Sunday in Atlanta. He said he will travel with the Redskins and provide as much support as he can, but he couldn't completely rule out missing the remaining nine games of the season.
"I'm hopeful that I can come back and play," Cooley said. "I still had an inch break in my ankle and it has three screws in it right now, so I'm not really getting around so well. So we'll see what happens.
"As far as the best case goes, I have a doctor's appointment on Monday, and we can re-evalutate how it's healed over the first 10 days and see how everything looks and how I feel and they can kind of tell me. Right now, it's still really sore. I really can't move it or set it down. I think that's what it's supposed to be, but I'll have someone who knows tell me on Monday."
Cooley is wearing a walking cast on his right foot, but moved around on crutches Monday because he cannot put weight on the leg. He realizes that the Redskins will have to make a decision, based on his progress, on whether to place him on season-ending injured reserve and replace him with someone else on the roster, or keep him active even as he can't play.
"I think the tough decision ends up being on our organization in the next couple weeks of keeping a spot for me over that amount of time and taking the risk of whether I will be able to play or not," Cooley said. "If my ankle feels good, I'm going to play. It doesn't matter what we're doing as far as the team."
Cooley leads the Redskins with 29 catches and has scored two touchdowns. He has never been seriously injured in his pro career, and his streak of 71 consecutive starts -- one that will end Sunday -- is the longest among NFL tight ends.
"I think it'll be hard to watch," Cooley said. "I'll be there for all my friends, and I'll be there with the team, and I'll be a part of the team as much as I can -- kinda go out and mess around on the field before the game, and try to have some fun and just try to help out the guys. It'll be tough for me, but it's not really an option of whether I could or could not play. It takes all the decision out of it, so I'm sure I'll be fine."
Second-year tight end Fred Davis is expected to get much of the playing time in Cooley's place.
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