Jonathan Cooper injury: Cardinals guard potentially out for season with broken leg

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With the return of Levi Brown at left tackle and Jonathan Cooper living up to his high draft stock at left guard, the Cardinals hoped for a revamped offensive line. Now, Cooper may be out for the season.

Bad news for the Arizona Cardinals, as first-round pick Jonathan Cooper could miss the entirety of his first year as a professional due to a broken leg suffered in Saturday night's preseason game against the San Diego Chargers.

Cooper's injury looked bad from the outset, as he needed a cart to be taken off the field. But initial reports were of an ankle injury as another player rolled onto his leg, not a fractured limb.

There haven't been many bright spots for the Cardinals in recent years, but Cooper was looking to be a nice pickup. Some graded Cooper as the best talent at any position in this year's draft, but since interior lineman isn't typically a highly valued position, the North Carolina product was available at No. 7 overall. He easily won the top spot at left guard, and alongside Levi Brown -- who missed the entirety of last season with a triceps injury, also suffered late in preseason play -- the Cardinals were hoping to revamp the left side of their offensive line and actually protect the quarterback.

With Cooper out, those hopes take a hit. Revenge of the Birds discusses who should fill in for the rookie, but no matter who it is, there will be a distinct dropoff.

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