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Jonathan Cooper starting will be 'very hard' in 2014 barring injury

The second year guard not likely to start over Ted Larsen.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

We already knew that veteran Ted Larsen was going to be the starter at left guard for Week 1, but it sounds like it is gong to be very unlikely that 2013 first round pick Jonathan Cooper will be able to crack the starting lineup.

Bruce Arians, when speaking to the media on Wednesday, "it's very hard now to get the opportunity" to pass somebody up on the depth chart on the offensive line, noting "you only get to go in pads once a week."

Arians said that Cooper's shot to start would probably be through injury.

"(Cooper's) play before the injury wasn't stellar," Arians said about his young lineman before he injured his toe. "He was looking like a guy that was coming off a year's injury.

Arians hasn't lost hope in Cooper, saying "he's going to be a heck of a player."

Simply put, Larsen outplayed him in training camp and the preseason. Unless Larsen becomes terrible or someone gets hurt among Larsen, Lyle Sendlein and Paul Fanaika,

Cooper understands his situation, as he told the media (via Arizona Sports). "I honestly don't feel like, for my performance with injuries and the time I've had out there, I have not earned that spot," he said. "I don't know if it's a test; I understand what they're doing. So it's perfectly fine, but I'm still hungry to get better, improve as a player and be ready when it is my shot."

He felt that he was "on the verge" of becoming a great player before his leg injury his rookie season. Now he needs to battle back.

The thing is that it is looking less and less like he will get to do that in 2014. It's early, but 2014 might be another season in which a top-10 drafted guard is not in the starting lineup for the Cardinals.