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Brandin Cooks will be back on Friday, but will he stay?

Mike Florio and Peter King unpack the Texans' missed opportunity to strengthen their rebuild by dealing a disgruntled Brandin Cooks before the NFL trade deadline.

After Thursday night’s loss to the Eagles, Texans coach Lovie Smith said receiver Brandin Cooks will be back in the facility on Friday. The question now becomes how long will he stay?

Smith was asked whether Cooks will play in the team’s next game, at the Giants.

“He is going to be in the building tomorrow, and everybody that’s in the building on a football team,” Smith told reporters. “He will be back on the team ready to go tomorrow.”

That’s not a no. It’s not a yes. And it was an easy yes-or-no question.

Smith also was asked whether Cooks will remain a team captain. Last night, tackle Laremy Tunsil inherited the “C” on the jersey.

“You know what, guys, I think we’ve talked enough about it,” Smith said. “Brandin didn’t play, all right? I told you he will be back in the building tomorrow. If you want to talk about the game, we can do that. As far as the captain, we have two offensive captains each game. Today [Laremy Tunsil] was our captain. I thought he represented the team well.”

Cooks may no longer want to represent the team, or associate with it. As explained on Thursday, however, Cooks could forfeit his $18 million guaranteed salary for 2023 if he fails to practice or play without the permission of the team. And if he were to decide to just retire, the Texans would be able to recover most of the $16 million signing bonus he received as part of a contract that was too good for the player to get another team to assume it via trade.