PHOENIX - According to Cardinals Coach Bruce Arians, the teams’ first round draft pick, Jonathan Cooper had surgery on his broken right leg Sunday and is expected to be out 10 to 12 weeks.
“The best part is that the operation went great and doctors are very positive about it.” Coach Arians said. “Whether he can come back, we’ll wait and see for a couple more days and there is a chance that he could possibly come back as soon as, well, with six games to go.”
So with the starting left guard out for at least 12 weeks, the Cardinals have to make some immediate moves on the offensive line. Coach Arians didn’t hesitate to share the plan: “We’re going to move Daryn (Colledge) to left guard and put Paul Fanaika at right guard. Paul’s played extremely well all camp. He had a bunch of snaps, because Daryn’s injury kind of ended up as a blessing for us, in that, he (Paul) got all those reps. We’re confident he’s a solid player and we know Daryn can play left guard so that was it.”
Any time you lose a starter in the offensive line, it’s going to take weeks for the new guys to blend in and gel with the other four guys up front. Hopefully with the number of snaps that Fanaika’s already had, he can speed up the learning curve with the rest of the big guys in the trenches.
Thursday’s preseason finale at Denver will give the starters a few more reps and hopefully that helps as well.
Arians said that while he’s not sure yet whether Carson Palmer will see any playing time, he is planning on having the rest of the starters get on the field for at least a few snaps. “Carson will be determined later, the majority of the starters, yes.” (They will play) When asked specifically about how much the first units will play, Arians answered, “Not much, they will not play much, no.”
So while the Broncos will in all likelihood keep Peyton Manning and the rest of the starters on the sidelines, we may see the Cardinals starters for at least a series.
You can catch the Cardinals final preseason game 6 p.m. Thursday on ABC15.
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