The Cardinals made the smart, un-sexy move to draft left guard Jonathan Cooper high in the first round this April to aid the most troublesome part of their football team from 2012. The worrying about the offensive line, however, now extends into this season.
Cooper reportedly suffered a broken left fibula in the Cardinals' 24-7 loss to the Chargers, leaving Arizona with a huge hole to fill up front. The injury occurred midway through the third quarter when a Chargers player was blocked into him, and Cooper had to be helped off the field.
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Afterwards, a very downtrodden Bruce Arians, suffering his first preseason loss as head coach of his new team, sounded rather helpless following the news of Cooper's health.
“We can correct the way we played,” Arians said. “We can’t correct the injuries.”
All signs point to Cooper being done for the season, although Arians held out some hope that the athletic rookie could return in the latter stages of the season. The Cardinals could opt to designate Cooper as their single short-team injured reserve candidate with the hope of bringing him back into the fold down the stretch.
His backup is listed as journeyman Chilo Rachal, although starting right guard Daryn Colledge stepped in on the left side last year when things fell apart on the line. Nothing is off the table, according to Arians, who was dismayed with his team's effort in the loss, calling it “probably the dumbest first 30 minutes of football I’ve ever seen.”
Dumb and rather unfortunate for a team for which things actually had been looking up prior to Saturday.