Today, Brandin Cooks‘ game jersey will be missing something — the “C” near the right shoulder.
In recent days, sources said the Texans revoked the veteran wide receiver’s captaincy after his public and private criticism of the team.
After he missed practice that week for what the team called personal reasons, Cooks did not play in Houston’s last game, a 29-17 loss to the Eagles on Nov. 3. Cooks was given a few days to regroup and clear his mind before returning to the facility ahead of the Giants’ game today, sources said at the time.
After the trade deadline passed, Cooks tweeted, “Don’t take a man’s kindness for granted. I’ve been covered by lies for too long. I’ve crossed the line with my career.”
It has been reported that Texans head coach Lovie Smith was particularly upset with Cooks for airing his grievances in public while he was away from the team.
It was hoped, however, that Cooks would return to MetLife Stadium with the same focus and work ethic he had previously shown. He did, and he will again play today, but not as captain. Cooks’ playing time will not be affected by the wrist injury he suffered last week and was listed as questionable on the injury report.
In his first comments to the media since returning to the team, Cooks said, “Man, I’m human. I’m frustrated, for sure. I want to win. That’s not the case. That’s how I express myself.”
I think we all want to win. We’re all frustrated in some way. That’s where I stand.”
Cooks likely would have been dealt to a contending team if not for the $18 million he has coming to him in 2023 as part of a two-year extension he signed with the Texans this spring. A few teams balked at the cost of taking on that money and sending Houston significant draft-pick compensation.
Once trades are allowed to be made in March, talks are expected to resume. For now, Cooks remains in Houston.
Nevertheless, he is no longer the team captain he once was.