It was a brutal night for the Red Birds. Not only did they lose to the San Diego Chargers, 24-7, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale but Cooper, the seventh overall selection in this year's NFL Draft, broke his left leg and could miss the rest of the season.
This is what happened – A player was blocked into Cooper's leg while the guard was running down the field trying to make a block midway through the third quarter. Cooper couldn't put any weight on the leg after the injury and had to be helped off the field and then carted to the locker room.
The Cardinals were dropping like flies last night - nose tackle Dan Williams left with an ankle injury. Starting tight end Rob Housler also was knocked out with an ankle injury, and starting running back Rashard Mendenhall left with a knee injury, although his injury didn't look too serious.
In addition, wide receiver Andre Roberts (quadriceps), tight end D.C. Jefferson (knee) and linebacker Matt Shaughnessy (ankle) were hurt as well.
It was a night to forget for head coach Bruce Arians and the Cardinals.
“We can correct the way we played,” Arians told azcardinals.com “We can’t correct the injuries.”
Cooper's injury will be hard to deal with. The University of North Carolina product was supposed to be one of the key figures to revitalize an offensive line that allowed a league-high 58 sacks last season. Veteran Chilo Rachal is Cooper's backup and is most likely to step in for him.
On the field, the Red Birds played very poorly overall, despite the fact the rushing attack gained 120 yards on 18 carries, led by Mendenhall's 47 yards. There were dropped passes, missed blocks and routes that were not run correctly.
The special teams unit itself was awful, allowing a 44-punt return, a blocked field goal and a blocked punt. Carson Palmer (12-23, 122 yards) fired a 16-yard touchdown pass to Michael Floyd but struggled himself at times. The first team offensive unit looked out of synch most of the contest.
“You never see that kind of game coming the way we had been practicing,” Arians explained to azcardinals.com. “It’s disheartening but we will come back. We will learn from it.”
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