The Cardinals made guard Jonathan Cooper a first round pick in April 2013 and they’re still waiting to see him play in a regular season game after a broken leg in preseason ended Cooper’s rookie season before it even started.
Cooper has made a lot of progress since he initially suffered the injury, but coach Bruce Arians says that the player still has “a ways to go” before he’s going to be back to the player the Cardinals picked last year. Cooper agrees with that assessment.
“I think I have progressed quite a bit but not quite game ready,” Cooper said, via ESPN.com. “I’ve come out here and I’ve done everything they’ve asked me to do rehab wise and lifting wise and on the field to the best of my ability. But my performance isn’t quite where it needs to be for Game 1.”
Despite that, Cooper has been taking the first-team snaps at left guard and he feels confident he’ll be at full strength come training camp. Better play from the offensive line would be a move in the right direction for a Cardinals team that will be trying for double-digit wins again this year. With Karlos Dansby and Daryl Washington gone from the defense that carried them last year, the offense will need to do a bit more than it did last season and a healthy Cooper should help on that front.