Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper said it was great to be back at practice Tuesday, four days after the team excused him from training camp after being seen on a video using a racial slur.
"To be honest, it felt good," Cooper said. "It felt great. I love being out there on the field playing football. That's what I do and that's what I love. So it felt good to be out there with the guys, catching, running and making some plays."
Cooper was fined by the Eagles and sent to get outside counseling last week after using the slur at a Kenny Chesney concert in June. Footage of the incident surfaced last week. He apologized for the remark.
ESPN reported that the team plans to use Cooper in its exhibition opener Friday against the New England Patriots.
Eagles coach Chip Kelly said he was more worried about Cooper regaining acceptance from his teammates than how he performed on the field in his return.
"My concern wasn't how he practiced," Kelly said. "It was him with the team himself and a chance to make sure he gets to talk to every guy so they understand how he felt, what he did and understand that he's truly sorry for what he did. We'll look at the film and correct all those other things but that wasn't really my concern."
Cooper said the incident will always be with him.
"It's going to be tough," he said. "No doubt it's going to be tough. I'm going to live with this every day for the rest of my life."
Cooper would not comment on the details of his counseling but said that he knows he has to be responsible for how he acts on and off the field.
"I just went out and seeked help," he said. "I talked with my family and seeked help -- I'm going to keep that with me and the others that are helping out, but it went well. It took a few days. It's been a tough ride. I talked to Chip last night and this morning and he asked me 'How do you feel? Are you ready to come back?' and I said 'Absolutely, I love being out there on the field, I love being out there with my guys.' "
Cooper said he spoke with each of his teammates individually.
"I just said 'What's up man? Good to have you back out here,' " linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. "I know Riley out of this situation surely felt like an outcast -- and we have to bring him back in as our teammate and as our brother and resolve this issue and move forward. We can't have any ill feelings lingering throughout this season."