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Jonathan Cooper injury: Guard has broken leg, may miss season

If the injury proves season-ending, it is the third straight preseason the team loses a key contributor for the entire season. Who will take his place?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The news about Arizona Cardinals rookie guard Jonathan Cooper wasn't good after the game. Head coach Bruce Arians informed the media in his postgame press conference that the rookie broke his leg and that, referring to the time he may miss, "it's looking like the season."

This is a huge blow to an offensive line that was looking to make huge strides.

"It's hard," said Arians about the loss. "That's the one you really hope to avoid -- a key player in an offensive line that was really starting to gel a little bit. And he was starting to play really well. You hate it for him and you hate it for the entire front."

Arians did, though, say that "we've got to go on" because it is still football.

The team will wait and see what they do with Cooper. The league does allow teams to place one player on injured reserve/designated for return. Arians thought that the break was in Cooper's right fibula, which some have said has a recovery time of six to eight weeks.

However, if it does prove to be season ending, it will continue a troubling preseason trend for the Cardinals. In 2011, they lost running back Ryan Williams and cornerback Greg Toler for the season to preseason game injuries. Last year it was Levi Brown that was lost for the year when he tore his triceps.

As for who will step in for Cooper, the team will talk about that. Chilo Rachal was the one that came in to replace Cooper when it happened. Daryn Colledge used to play left guard and Paul Fanaika has played well so far. Arians did say that Fanaika "is one name to come up."

What will happen? We don't know. But it the team's guard depth.

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