Written By Madison Williams
Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper is facing a fine after sitting courtside at the Dallas Mavericks game on Wednesday, Jan. 5.
Cooper was fined $14,650 by the NFL 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' top receiver this season, accompanied Cooper at the game. But since Lamb is vaccinated, he does not 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 got popped for that Mavs-Warriors game.— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) January 13, 2022
The $14,650 fine is also the same amount Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was fined back in November after it was discovered he violated multiple COVID-19 rules.
This isn't the first time this season that Cooper sat close up at a sporting event. Cooper was on the sidelines at the College Football Playoff semi-final on Dec. 31 to watch Alabama, his alma mater, face Cincinnati. Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs accompanied Cooper, but similarly to Lamb, Diggs is vaccinated and was not fined.
The Cowboys face the 49ers on Sunday, Jan. 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 about what precautions he will take in order to not test positive before the playoffs begin.
"You don't want to get sick. This is the tournament. We train so hard in the offseason, OTAs, camp, to get to this point. We accomplished that goal thus far," Cooper said, via ESPN. "We're going to do everything we can do to not get sick. If that means isolation, then that's what that means. Hopefully we can isolate enough to not 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 get tested daily through the Super Bowl. However, the NFL recently established a new testing policy in which they only test players when they are symptomatic, but also choose players at random to be tested.
With the 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 shortened isolation period, the Cowboys can't afford to lose their second best receiver this post season.
In 15 games this season, Cooper completed 68 out of 104 targets for 865 yards and eight touchdowns. Cooper has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards four times in his career, including the last two years with the Cowboys.