"They told me to sit out and that's what I did," Coples told the newspaper. "There's no time for questions. This is the NFL. If the boss says sit down, sit down. So that's what I did."
Head coach Rex Ryan tamped down any speculation that Coples may be hurt or was in his doghouse.
"He's fine. There's no injury," Ryan said after practice, adding that he wanted to see some other rookies perform.
"He's going to start. He's going to play a ton. He's going to start in multiple schemes," Ryan said.
Ryan praised Coples play Friday, saying the No. 16 overall pick had about six sacks in practice.
The former North Carolina Tar Heel, however, was puzzled by the decision after participating in individual drills.
"I am (curious)," Coples said. "I trust the staff. They (made) the best decision for me. And I'll move forward from there."
The team has taken healthy players off the practice field before a contract signing in the past, the newspaper said. But Coples said he didn't think his deal was about to be completed.