How many times have you heard the phrase “in football you are but one play from an injury”? Unfortunately for the Arizona Cardinals and their first round pick, former UNC offensive line man Jonathan Cooper, that phrase came calling last night. And it is not a minor thing, as the Cards’ coach, Bruce Arians, said… “Right now it’s looking more like the season,” when speaking of the young man’s injury, which is a broken leg.
Cooper, picked seventh in this year’s NFL Draft, had earned the starting role at left guard for a new looking line set up for this season. And then the third quarter came along last night for the first year man, who had missed a few practices while negotiating his contract, but was going to be a corner stone.
“Our offensive line had started to gel a little bit and he was playing extremely well,” Arians added. “You hate it for him and you hate it for the entire front, but the next man’s got to step up. That’s what has to happen.“
And while that might sound harsh, that is the reality of playing sports at a level above recreational. And I am sure that while the former UNC Football player wished did not happen, he will also realize that this is a set back, but it’s not the end of anything.
Once all the tests are done the Cardinals will see how to deal with their lineman. If there was a chance he could come back this season then the club could place him on injured reserve with the option to activate him later in the season. Only time will tell how this will go. For now let’s hope that, no matter how long it takes, Cooper will come back to the NFL just as strong as he was before this happened!