Is Miami's Graig Cooper back?

Maybe it was an accidental slip.

Maybe it was wishful thinking.

But in a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon, Miami running back Damien Berry said leading rusher Graig Cooper is "coming back" after a severe right knee injury which could have sidelined him for the 2010 season.

"Our O-line is looking good, Jacory's healthy, Cooper's coming back: I feel like this could be a very promising season," Berry said.

Me: Is that out there? Is Coop definitely coming back?

DB: Coop is working hard, I hope he's back.

Miami hasn't made any official announcement regarding Cooper's status, but several of the players seem encouraged by the progress he has made.

"He's been in the rehab room getting better, every week he's getting better," said wide receiver Leonard Hankerson. "He's doing great."

With Cooper back, Miami could have the deepest group of running backs in the ACC. Mike James, Lamar Miller, Storm Johnson and Lee Chambers are all capable of significant carries. Berry said dividing up the snaps won't be a problem.

"It's not about who gets the carries, we're more concerned with winning games," he said.

Nor is he concerned about the group producing a 1,000-yard rusher.

"If I am that guy great, but if not, I'm not really worried about it because we're going to win games with or without a 1,000-yard back."