<
>

Bill O'Brien feeling 'really good' about Brandin Cooks' health despite concussions in 2019

HOUSTON -- In his first public comments since trading for Brandin Cooks, Texans coach and general manager Bill O'Brien said he feels "really good" about the wide receiver's health following a physical with a doctor in Los Angeles.

Cooks, who caught 42 passes for 583 yards and two touchdowns for the Los Angeles Rams last season, dealt with recurring concussions that led to him missing two games.

"I've been asked about concussions," O'Brien said on a conference call Thursday. "Yes, he's had concussions, but he's only missed two games since 2015. All that was taken into account when we worked with [Rams coach] Sean McVay on the trade.

"Without getting too much into who did the physical on Brandin, but it was a doctor that we felt really good about, that [Texans team physician Walter] Lowe had a personal friendship with. That's kind of how it goes during this unique time, when there's no traveling. That physical had to take place in L.A., and we were able to have a doctor out there that did a great job. We also spoke with other doctors relative to Brandin and his injuries. Not to get into the details, but we feel really good at where Brandin's at, relative to his health. We really can't wait to start coaching him."

The Texans acquired Cooks and a 2022 fourth-round NFL draft pick for a 2020 second-round pick (No. 57 overall) earlier in the month.

Cooks, 26, has had 1,000-yard receiving seasons with the New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots and Rams. In 2018, Cooks played an important role on the Rams' Super Bowl team, with 80 catches for 1,204 yards and five touchdowns.

"I think that Brandin brings a lot to the table," O'Brien said. "He's a tremendous route runner. He's got great speed. Really good deep-ball player. If you look at his yards per catch over the years, it's really high. You're talking about in the 14 to 15 [YPC] range."

Houston also signed slot receiver Randall Cobb in free agency and the Texans also have 2016 first-round pick Will Fuller, Kenny Stills, Keke Coutee and DeAndre Carter at the position.

In March, the Texans traded All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals. O'Brien said, "I don't think you replace Hopkins," but "we feel really good about where we are offensively right now, with our personnel and what we're gonna be able to do."

"What we have at the receiver position right now is a very diverse group of receivers," O'Brien said. "You have Will Fuller, who has produced in great ways when he's been healthy. He's produced a lot. You have Kenny Stills, who came in here last year and did a really good job. Now you add Brandin Cooks [and] Randall Cobb."

O'Brien said Thursday that Fuller, who has dealt with injuries throughout his four seasons in the NFL, is "doing great." Fuller, who missed time last season with a hamstring injury, also played through a groin injury and had surgery this offseason.

"We're excited about Will," O'Brien said. "We're excited about the 2020 Will. We feel like he's really working. Like I've said a lot, when he's played for us, he's made huge plays. I think he's looking to have a really good 2020."

Fuller is in a contract year, scheduled to play the 2020 season on his fifth-year option.

When talking about the Hopkins trade "or anything else we've done," O'Brien said he thinks "we have to let it all play out" before judging the deal.

"Let the whole thing play out, whether it's that trade or anything else that we've done," O'Brien said. "I would say, let's review it a year from now, two years from now, three years from now. Let's let it all play out."