Brandin Cooks cuts short celebration after NFL crackdown

NEW ORLEANS -- Brandin Cooks pulled out his arrow -- but the NFL stopped him from shooting it.

The New Orleans Saints receiver abbreviated his signature bow-and-arrow touchdown celebration Sunday after an 87-yard touchdown catch against the Carolina Panthers, thanks to the NFL's recent crackdown on the move. Instead, Cooks knelt to the ground, kissed his hands and raised them to the sky.

Cooks says he has used the bow-and-arrow touchdown celebration as a show of faith to God, based on a pair of Bible passages. He has also adopted the nickname, "The Archer."

But the NFL outlawed the bow-and-arrow celebration when it penalized and fined Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman for using it two weeks ago, with the league's head of officiating Dean Blandino explaining that it "mimics a violent act."

Cooks -- who has never been penalized or fined for the celebration, which he used twice earlier this year -- was irked by the NFL's policy. But he said he didn't want to hurt his team.

"I've been doing it for three years now, and there was never a complaint about it," Cooks told the New Orleans Advocate. "Now, all of a sudden, there is. It just reminds me that, it's almost as if they try to take so much away from us, but for something like this, that means so much to someone that has nothing to do with violence, it's frustrating.

"I'll definitely continue to speak my opinion about it, and if they have a problem with it, so be it."

Cooks now has the two longest receptions in the NFL this year. He also caught a 98-yard touchdown pass against the Oakland Raiders in Week 1.

According to ESPN Stats and Information, Cooks is the first player with multiple 85-yard touchdown catches in a season since DeSean Jackson and Mario Manningham in 2010.

He finished the game with a career-high 173-yard outing on seven catches in the Saints' 41-38 victory.

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Cooks hauls in 87-yard TD, cuts celebration short
Cooks hauls in 87-yard TD, cuts celebration short
Drew Brees connects with Brandin Cooks for an 87-yard touchdown pass to put the Saints up 14-0 over the Panthers in the first quarter.
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