First, quarterback John Beck: “He’s not going to play tonight. I don’t think,” Cooley said. “Unless something changes today.”
Second, himself: Cooley is definitely not playing tonight against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the preseason opener — which Mike Shanahan revealed on Wednesday — but Cooley said he’s confident he’ll be ready by Week 1 of the regular season.
“I can absolutely play,” said Cooley, who’s been bothered by a knee injury. “I can practice. I’ve been practicing on and off. For me, I hate not being on the field. I hate not being able to practice with my guys. It’s really, really frustrating. For me, they have to actually make me stop.”
Cooley provided a few more details about the nature of his injury. The meniscus tear actually dates back to 2005. It flared up toward the end of last season and Cooley had arthroscopic surgery the day after the season ended.
He said he rehabbed through March and “felt good.”
“I had complete flexibility,” he said.
He said the knee has experienced swelling and irritation early in camp, though, “and they didn’t want to risk anything.”
“We’re just taking it a little bit easy right now,” Cooley said.
So Cooley won’t be on the field tonight. He wasn’t sure how coaches might divide playing time at the other positions. But if Beck can’t play, it’s likely Rex Grossman and Kellen Clemens will see a lot of playing time.
“I know they want to see Kellen play a lot because he’s new in this offense,” Cooley said.
As for the quarterback competition between Grossman and Beck, Cooley said, “I think both guys give us an opportunity to win football games the way we want to do it.”