The veteran wide receiver took the field on Sunday without the "C" patch on his jersey that used to designate his captaincy. This followed an NFL Network report that head coach Lovie Smith stripped his captaincy because Cooks publicly complained after not being dealt at the NFL's trade deadline.
Cooks was widely believed to be a top trade candidate at the deadline for contenders seeking an upgrade at receiver. When the Nov. 1 deadline passed and Cooks wasn't traded, he tweeted this:
Don’t take a man’s kindness for granted. Covered for the lies for too long those days are done. Crossed the line with playing with my career 🏹
— Brandin Cooks (@brandincooks) November 1, 2022
The tweet was cryptic, but one thing seemed clear. Cooks was displeased about remaining on the team, which has one win and sits in last place in the AFC South. He confirmed as much while speaking with reporters last week.
“For me personally, I just at the end of the day want to win and compete now,” Cooks said. “That’s been my thought process.”
Sunday's was his first game in the lineup since his tweet. He missed practice and a Week 9 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles for what the team cited as "personal reasons and "not injury related." He played against the New York Giants on Sunday — sans captain patch — and tallied four catches for 37 yards. The Giants won, 24-16, and the Texans fell to 1-7-1.
He didn't discuss his captaincy, but reiterated his frustrations playing for a losing team.
"It's tough," Cooks said, per KPRC's Aaron Wilson. "That's the name of the game. These games in this league come down to the wire. To not come out on top consistently is definitely frustrating."
He also said that he was glad to be back on the field with his teammates.
'It was good," Cooks said. "It felt great being out there with my guys.'