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Arizona Cardinals news 12/3: Cooper benched, not all lost with CJ injured

Today's Cardinals and NFL links to start the day.

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals were back at practice. There is definitely optimism about David Johnson. They are keeping Ted Larsen as the starting right guard. On the NFL, maybe the league is targeting Rob Gronkowski for offensive pass interference. Here are today's Bird Droppings.

Cardinals:

David Johnson Switch Shouldn't Hinder Cardinals
RB Chris Johnson's injury not expected to have large ramifications on team success

Larsen Stays Starter, Cooper To Bench
Notes: Ailing Ellington to see L.A. specialist; New cornerback suited for role

Cardinals Blogs | WR Brittan Golden gives DB a shot
Wide receiver Brittan Golden admitted he was surprised when he was told on the airplane ride home from San Francisco he was going to be moving to defensive back. "I was … ‘OK, whatever. Whatever happens, I’m ready,’ " Golden said.

Arizona Cardinals' losing C. Johnson doesn't spell doom
Chris Johnson is on crutches, which means the Cardinals’ chances of doing much in the playoffs are hobbled, too, right?

Arizona Cardinals' Jonathan Cooper healthy, but benched
Cooper missed the past two games with a knee injury, and seems to have lost his starting left guard job in the process.

Jonathan Cooper loses starting job to Ted Larsen while injured - Arizona Cardinals Blog- ESPN
Jonathan Cooper returned to Arizona Cardinals practice in full on Wednesday and and is "almost full strength."

Kerwynn Williams, Stepfan Taylor have come through on short notice before - Arizona Cardinals Blog- ESPN
Last December, the Cardinals responded well after injuries at running back. Now they need to do it again.

Cardinals trying to connect Andre Ellington with L.A. foot specialist - Arizona Cardinals Blog- ESPN
Ellington, who injured his left foot during Sunday's win over the 49ers, could be back as early as next Thursday's game against the Vikings.

Tyrann Mathieu doing his best to keep Cardinals balanced and focused in final regular season stretch - NBCSPORTS1060.COM
There’s been talk thrown around of Mathieu possibly being NFL Defensive Player of the Year for his efforts. Being named DPOY and making the Pro Bowl is something Mathieu would of course welcome, but those types of things Mathieu laid out early on in the season, and "left it there," in his words.

Cardinals can withstand loss of Chris Johnson - Arizona Sports

Losing Chris Johnson hurts, but the Arizona Cardinals are very well-schooled in the "next man up" philosophy.

Notes from the Nest: Happenings at Cardinals practice Dec. 2

The Arizona Cardinals got back on the practice field Wednesday in preparation for a road game against the St. Louis Rams.

Peterson named Cardinals 2015 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year

Cornerback Patrick Peterson has been named the Arizona Cardinals' 2015 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.

NFL:

Rob Gronkowski has a point about refs targeting him unfairly - SBNation.com

The Patriots tight end has more OPI calls than 30 NFL teams, and Gronk thinks the officials aren't giving him a fair shake. He might be right.

NFL picks 2015, Week 13: Experts unanimously pick Bengals, Cardinals, Broncos and Patriots - SBNation.com

With the playoff race starting to heat up, our NFL experts at SB Nation give their picks in for Week 13.

No NFL player has ever committed a penalty in the history of the game. Seriously. - SBNation.com

There's a difference between a "foul" and a "penalty," and no one seems to use them right.

Browns tab Austin Davis over Johnny Manziel for starting quarterback job - SBNation.com

The undrafted third-year QB has bypassed Johnny Manziel on the depth chart.

Uffsides NFL Week 13 preview: Can Teddy Bridgewater game manage the Vikings to victory? - SBNation.com

Matt and the Uffsides crew preview the best of Week 13, decide that Ryan Fitzpatrick is the most elite mediocre quarterback, and make offensive assumptions about Kirk Cousins' childhood.

Alex Smith and the Chiefs have mastered not screwing up - SBNation.com

The last turnover for the Chiefs came in Week 6 and Alex Smith now has the team in position to make a run at the postseason.

NFLPA says the Rams should be punished for handling of Case Keenum concussion - SBNation.com

The Rams were not punished for keeping Case Keenum in a game after he suffered a concussion, and NFLPA president Eric Winston is asking the league to change its mind.

Incompetent referees are ruining the NFL - SBNation.com

If you can't trust the refs to call a fair game, what's the point of even watching football?