Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper faces a fine after sitting courtside at the Dallas Mavericks game on Wednesday, January 5.
The NFL fined Cooper $14,650 after he violated the league’s COVID-19 protocols. Since Cooper is unvaccinated, he is not allowed to sit courtside at games, especially without a mask. The rules state that unvaccinated players must sit in a luxury suite and not be around more than 10 people. CeeDee Lamb, the Cowboys’ best receiver this season, joined Cooper in the game. But because Lamb is vaccinated, he doesn’t face similar discipline.
A source said Cowboys WR Amari Cooper was fined by the NFL for COVID-19 protocol violations. Cooper was fined $14k for attending a sporting event without wearing a mask. Cooper was eliminated for that Mavs-Warriors game.
—Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) January 13, 2022
The $14,650 fine is also the same amount that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was fined in November after he was found to have violated several COVID-19 rules.
This isn’t the first time this season that Cooper has sat up close at a sporting event. Cooper was on the sidelines in the College Football Playoff semifinal on December 31 to watch Alabama, his alma mater, take on Cincinnati. Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs accompanied Cooper, but like Lamb, Diggs is vaccinated and was not fined.
The Cowboys face the 49ers on Sunday, January 16 in the wild card round of the NFL playoffs. Ironically, after the Cowboys’ final regular-season game against the Eagles last Saturday, Cooper was asked what precautions he’ll take so he doesn’t test positive before the playoffs begin.
“You don’t want to get sick. This is the tournament. We trained really hard in the offseason, the OTAs, the camp, to get to this point. We’ve achieved that goal so far,” Cooper said. via ESPN. “We will do everything possible not to get sick. If that means isolation, then that’s what it means. Hopefully, we can isolate ourselves enough that we don’t catch it.”
Cooper already tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the season and missed two games due to the rules in place for unvaccinated players. Subsequently, Cooper will not have to be tested every day during the Super Bowl. However, the NFL recently established a new testing policy where they only test players when they have symptoms, but also randomly choose players to be tested.
Under updated quarantine rules the NFL put in place several weeks ago, Cooper would only have to isolate for five days if he tests positive and is asymptomatic. Even with this shorter isolation period, the Cowboys can’t afford to lose their second-best receiver this postseason.
In 15 games this season, Cooper completed 68 of 104 targets for 865 yards and eight touchdowns. Cooper has topped 1,000 receiving yards four times in his career, including the last two years with the Cowboys.