Aug 9, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals guard Jonathan Cooper against the Houston Texans during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
5. Jonathan Cooper’s struggles
Jonathan Cooper had to sit out his first season after fracturing his leg in preseason. His return was seen as another opportunity to bolster the offensive line further. Unfortunately, that result has yet to fully materialize.
In early August, Cooper wasn’t consistently getting time with the first team offense. Bruce Arians even made it public that he was disappointed with Cooper in camp. Cooper has also been struggling with turf toe, which he acknowledged will be a lingering issue that he will have to play through.
Coopers skills as a run blocker made him the seventh pick in 2013, and the productive use of those talents would be a major plus for André Ellington, who needs all the upfront blocking the team can muster. The reality is that if you are a top ten pick that isn’t guaranteed to start and your competition is not a star (quarterback excluded) you’re not in the best of positions.
To be fair, Cooper’s actions on the field leave a little more room for optimism. In the first preseason game, Cooper held his ground against J.J. Watt and only was beaten once. The problem is that that’s all anyone has seen from him.