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McKenzie: Raiders nearly shut down Amari Cooper

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Amari Cooper shook off a late-season foot injury to become the first rookie in Oakland Raiders history to reach 1,000 receiving yards.

As it turns out, the injury nearly cost the 2015 first-round pick that opportunity.

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Appearing Wednesday on SiriusXM NFL Radio with Alex Marvez, general manager Reggie McKenzie revealed that the Raiders considered shutting Cooper down for the season in December.

McKenzie was impressed that Cooper toughed it out. It was obvious that his speed and cutting ability were comprised over the final four games, as he managed to clear 20 yards just once in that span.

Prior to the injury, Cooper had become the first rookie with three 100-yard receiving games in his team's first six contests since Hall of Fame tight end Mike Ditka accomplished the feat more than a half-century ago in 1961.

A rare receiver with precision route running, explosiveness after the catch and downfield tracking ability on 50/50 balls, Cooper was perhaps the primary reason for Derek Carr's breakout season.

"Amari Cooper is a game changer," Raiders cornerback T.J. Carrie raved in late October. "Derek Carr is sitting back there laughing at all the weapons he has."

With an offseason to recover from the foot injury, Cooper can be expected to join the ranks of the NFL's true No. 1 receivers in 2016.

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