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Texans expect Brandin Cooks in facility Friday

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Matthew Berry and Jay Croucher analyze which wide receivers and tight ends make Berry's Love/Hate for Week 9, including Terry McLaurin, JuJu Smith-Schuster, DJ Moore and others.

The Texans played without wide receiver Brandin Cooks in Thursday night’s loss to the Eagles, but his absence from the team is expected to end on Friday.

Cooks was the subject of trade rumors heading into the deadline and expressed his unhappiness at remaining with the team after it passed. He missed practice during the week before being inactive on Thursday, but head coach Lovie Smith said at his postgame press conference that Cooks will be rejoining the team on Friday.

“He’s going to be in the building,” Smith said, via Kristie Rieken of the Associated Press. “He’ll be back on the team, ready to go.. . . . I told you last week he was excused for personal reasons. Part of the personal reasons was some of the things that was going on. I made a coach’s decision. I didn’t think he was ready to play. You don’t practice during the week I don’t think you’re ready to play in the game.”

Unexcused absences could have put Cooks at risk of voiding the $18 million guaranteed salary he has for the 2023 season, which is a pretty good reason for him to resume working with the team despite his disappointment with how things went at the trade deadline.