TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals have placed first-round draft pick Jonathan Cooper on injured reserve, ending the left guard's season after initially expressing hope he could be back for as many as the final six games.
Cooper underwent surgery last Sunday after breaking his left leg the previous night in a preseason game against San Diego. Cooper, the seventh pick overall, had been slated to start on a rebuilt offensive line under new coach Bruce Arians.
The team released 13 players on Friday, including nose tackle David Carter and wide receiver Mike Thomas.
Others released are safety Jonathan Amaya, center Adam Bice, wide receiver Dan Buckner, tight end Alex Gottlieb, wide receiver Charles Hawkins, guard Senio Kelemente, linebacker Zack Nash, linebacker Colin Parker, tight end Richard Quinn, guard Chilo Rachal and safety Curtis Taylor.
The movers leave 61 players on the Arizona roster. It must be reduced to 53 by 6 p.m., EDT, on Saturday.
One reduction will come when inside linebacker Daryl Washington serves his suspension for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL substance abuse policy. Another could be created if tight end Jeff King, who underwent surgery on his ailing right knee, goes on injured reserve.
Cooper is expected to be sidelined for at least 12 weeks, Arians said. The Cardinals could have used the rule that allows an injured player to return eight weeks into the season, but the coach said it was decided to save that option in case it could be used on someone else.
"We don't feel it's fair to our football team in case we get somebody who can come back sooner, if there is another injury," Arians said. "We felt we needed to keep that spot open. As much as we wanted to get Jon back, the chances of him coming back and then getting in football shape weren't as realistic as we'd hoped for."
A question yet to be answered is whether the Cardinals will release Ryan Lindley and go with two quarterbacks. Arians said he was "90 percent sure" what he would do with Lindley but wouldn't offer any hints what that might be.
Carter, a sixth-round draft pick out of UCLA in 2011, appeared in all 16 games for the Cardinals the past two seasons, four last year as a starter. But he lost out in the competition, Arians said.
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