Riley Cooper started for the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, and the crowd's first chance to react to him was pretty positive.
Michael Vick, who defended Cooper after he was caught on camera using a racial slur, rolled out right and hit Cooper crossing the field. The play gained 19 yards. It was hard to make out if there were all cheers from the home Eagles crowd, or some cheers and some boos, even to the writers at the stadium.
Riley Cooper with the reception. Stadium cheers. No boos to my ear.
— P. Schrager (@PSchrags) August 10, 2013
Vick to Cooper. Lots of cheers. (A few boos). — Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) August 10, 2013
While it sounded like there was some mixed reaction, that might be explained away:
Riley Cooper with a catch. Some boos? Or "Coooooop?" We'll never know.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 10, 2013
It seems like the reaction was, at very least, mostly positive. And, even better for Cooper, it probably won't matter much anymore.
The Eagles sent a message by starting Cooper on offense. Even though Cooper missed a few days as he was away for counseling, the team put him into the starting lineup for the first preseason game. Coach Chip Kelly said the issue with the racial slur would have nothing to do with his future with the team, and it's obviously not affecting his status on the depth chart.
The Eagles need a receiver to step up after Jeremy Maclin went down for the season with a knee injury. The Eagles' fans seem to be in support of Cooper filling that role.