Amari Cooper has gone on from being a star at Alabama to being a star in the NFL ranks.

But, that didn’t come easily for the Dallas Cowboys wide receiver. He has had to learn how to play when he isn’t feeling 100% healthy.

Per Cowboys insider Calvin Watkins, learning to play hurt was something Cooper learned how to do at Alabama. Per Cooper, Nick Saban kept putting another guy ahead of Cooper if Cooper wasn’t consistently able to take the field:

Obviously, there are differences between playing hurt and playing injured, with the latter not being a good idea.

But, as the season wears on in football, no one is every truly 100% healthy. It’s a rough sport, and it sounds like Saban instilled that lesson in Cooper early on.