Jonathan Cooper’s rookie season with the Arizona Cardinals ended before it could even begin.
Cooper, who broke his left leg in the team’s third preseason game against the San Diego Chargers, was placed on season-ending injured reserve Friday.
“Probably the only difference so far is the decision to put Jonathan on IR rather than wait with the prognosis,” head coach Bruce Arians said Friday. “The latest prognosis would be 12 [weeks] at the earliest, and I just don’t feel like it’s fair to our football team in case we get somebody who can come back sooner if there is another injury.
“We felt we needed to keep that spot open. As much as we want to get Jonathan back, the chances of him getting back and getting in football shape weren’t as realistic as we had hoped for.”
It’s a tough blow for both the team and player. Taken with the seventh pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Cooper was expected to help anchor a revamped offensive line.
“He’s disappointed in the whole situation,” Arians said of Cooper. “His biggest thing right now is getting off that bicycle he’s carrying his leg on and trying to get healthy.”