Riley Cooper Excused From Eagles, Will Focus on Counseling

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Embattled wide receiver Riley Cooper has been excused from the Philadelphia Eagles indefinitely, citing a need for counseling and sensitivity training.

The move comes two days after a video from a Kenny Chesney concert showed Cooper using a racial slur toward an African-American security guard.

"Riley Cooper will be seeking counseling and we have excused him from all team activities," the Eagles said in a statement. "This is all new territory."

"He will meet with professionals provided by the Eagles during this time to better help him understand how his words have hurt so many, including his teammates."

"We are going to evaluate this timetable every step of the way."

Cooper practiced Thursday but often seemed isolated and alone between repetitions. Before the scandal broke, he seemed on track to win a starting job.

Now his mere employment seems jeopardized at best.

Quarterback Michael Vick expressed forgiveness of Cooper on Wednesday. The reaction of other teammates has ranged from supportive to tepid.

Cooper is clearly struggling to come to grips with his actions and the subsequent fallout, which has included angry responses from other NFL players.

"The last few days have been incredibly difficult for me," he said. "My actions were inexcusable. The more I think about what I did, the more disgusted I get."

"I keep trying to figure out how I could have said something so repulsive, and what I can do to make things better. Right now, I think it's important for me to take some time to reflect."

"The organization and my teammates have been extremely supportive, but I also realize that there are people who will have a tough time forgiving me."

"The best thing for me, and for the team, is to step away for a period of time.

"During this time I'm going to be speaking with a variety of professionals to help me better understand how I could have done something that was so offensive."

"My goal is to find a way to start the healing process for everyone. As long as it takes, and whatever I have to do, I'm going to try to make this right."

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