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Arizona Cardinals 'disappointed in the injuries,' not in Jonathan Cooper

Steve Keim says Cooper is learning something new.

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest disappointments thus far is the status of second-year guard Jonathan Cooper. He was drafted in the top 10 of last year's draft and was lost for the season with a broken leg.

He returned and then suffered turf toe. Now he is recovering, but has lost the starting job to Ted Larsen.

But general manager Steve Keim isn't disappointed in Cooper, nor does he question his toughness. He talked to Arizona Republic reporter Kent Somers about it.

The guy had a tremendous career at North Carolina, and to my knowledge was never hurt or ever had a significant injury. So now this offseason, he's had to deal not only with a significant lower-leg injury, now he has a significant turf-toe injury. Turf toes can be major issues.

I think it's going to come down to the fact that he's going to have to feel comfortable getting back on the field and, on top of that, a guy who has never been hurt is going to have to understand how to play and manage playing in pain. That's going to be awkward for him, but the most time he is out here ... he's just going to have to get used to it. He understands that. It's sad because we all have such high expectations. I'm disappointed in the injuries; I'm not disappointed in the player.

It is interesting how Keim describes the toe injury as significant. Bruce Arians downplayed the severity of he injury when it happened. Cooper played through it when he initially got hurt. That probably made it worse.

What Keim said about managing pain is true, though. If Cooper has never gotten hurt, it will be something to learn. Michael Floyd learned how to do it last season and he was praised by Bruce Arians for taking that step.

The issue is that Cooper isn't playing now that Larsen has taken over.

Will Cooper ever get to learn to play with pain, or will it just be practicing with some pain? And if he doesn't see the field this year, will he be a bust already? Or should we wait until 2015 to decide that?