PITTSBURGH — Amari Cooper showed last season he’ll play through an injury.
He’s going to do the same tonight against the Steelers.
Cooper, the Browns’ No. 1 receiver, is active and expected to start as usual. He was listed as questionable after leaving practice Saturday with a minor groin injury.
Also in the starting lineup is safety Juan Thornhill, who will make his Browns debut. He missed the 24-3 opening win over the Bengals with a calf injury. He returned to practice Friday.
He signed a three-year, $21 million deal as a free agent in March after spending the first four years of his career with the Chiefs.
The inactives are all rookies: defensive tackle Siaki Ika (foot), center Luke Wypler, safety Ronnie Hickman, defensive end Isaiah McGuire and cornerback Kahlef Hailassie.
Cooper played the final five games last season with a core muscle injury that was surgically repaired in the offseason. During the stretch he caught 17 passes for 328 yards and two touchdowns.
“As a veteran you kind of learn how to play through different injuries, so I was able to play through it,” he told The Chronicle-Telegram in August. “You got to be smart in the way that you put together your routes. If you’re going to be three steps ahead of the guy if you’re not hurt, you got to be like five steps ahead of the guy because he kind of has the advantage on you being that you’re hurt.”
He had three catches for 105 yards and both touchdowns against the Commanders, playing even with the Browns out of playoff contention.
“That’s the important thing about being able to play injured,” he said. “You never know what’s going to happen. You can decide to sit out and miss out on some easy touchdowns. So I always decide to play.”
Cooper caught three passes for 37 yards in the opener. Last season, his first with the Browns, he caught 78 passes for 1,160 yards and nine touchdowns.