Riley Cooper's snaps have been decreasing over the last six games. The Eagles wide receiver played 91 percent of snaps in the first five games and has played 76 percent in the last six. He played 58 of 87 snaps (67 percent) in the Eagles' 43-24 win over the Titans on Sunday.
While it would appear that rookie receivers Jordan Matthews (61 snaps vs. the Titans) and Josh Huff (29 snaps) have cut into his playing time, Cooper joked that Jeremy Maclin's contract situation had played a role. Maclin signed a one-year deal in February.
"Maclin's trying to get a contract so he's probably not going to try and come out of the game," Cooper said, apparently with sarcasm.
A handful of reporters laughed and Cooper continued with his answer.
"We want to sub as much as we can. It doesn't matter who it is," Cooper said Monday. "Hopefully, Maclin gets this thing done and he'll probably be subbing just as much. We want guys out there every four plays. We we're trying to rotate every four plays. I'll be in for four or five depending on if we're going tempo. Six, seven plays and then Huff goes in for two and then I go back in."
There has been speculation that the Eagles would approach Maclin during the season about an extension. He is having a career year and leads the team with 63 catches for 980 yards and nine touchdowns. Maclin said before the season that he would be willing to talk before free agency, but has recently said his contract situation would work itself out.
Cooper signed a five-year, $22.5 million contract a day before Maclin inked his deal in February. He is third on the team with 39 catches for 425 yards and one touchdown. Cooper's per-catch average (10.9) is significantly down from last season (17.8).
His role has changed some as the Eagles' offensive system as evolved and he hasn't seen as many passes downfield. Cooper has been open several times, but for various reasons he hasn't connected with quarterbacks Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez on a regular basis.
He said he was content with doing the dirty work of blocking.
"I like blocking. I'm big. I should like blocking. I don't mind it," Cooper said, adding: "Those are the type of people we want here. You don't get all the glory, you don't have the numbers, you don't have the stats, you don't have the touchdowns, but we're 8-3, hopefully, a Super Bowl team. If you're winning games, the organization isn't going to go out and get somebody else when you're grading out well."
Cooper had a key block on LeSean McCoy's 53-yard rush against the Titans and on several other runs and screens. Cooper caught three of six targets for 49 yards, including a 21-yard grab. He was the intended target on Sanchez' first interception. Sanchez said that he wasn't on the same page with his receiver, although it appeared as if Cooper had given up on his route. Eagles coach Chip Kelly took the blame for his call on Monday.