By: Rich Gray
The Arizona Cardinals enter their final week of training camp at University of Phoenix Stadium with a big development at offensive line. Head coach Bruce Arians announced on Monday center Lyle Sendlein will return to practice later this week. When Sendlein–out with a left calf injury–returns, his replacement, Ted Larsen will move to left guard, replacing injured Jonathan Cooper.
“He’s a quality player,” Arians said. “We are going to put the best five out there, there’s no doubt about that.”
This is just the latest example of what seems to be growing frustration within the Cardinals organization towards Cooper. After missing all of last season with a broken leg, Cooper is now battling a toe injury which cause him to miss camp last week and the second preseason game in Minnesota.
“Coop is in the training room,” Arians said of his second-year pro. “He can’t do anything right now.”
Cooper is expected to return to practice on Wednesday, alongs with Sendlein.
Meanwhile, Larsen is preparing to be the starter.
“I’m ready to go wherever they decide to put me,” said Larsen. “That’s just part of the deal. If you’re going to be that sixth guy, you got to play all three positions. It’s something I’m ready to do.”
After four starts with Tampa Bay last season, Larsen said he was looking for a place where he would get a chance to start and Arizona fit that description. Larsen also believes the last few weeks at center should help him and the rest of the offensive line.
“Training camp has been good,” Larsen said. “It’s been good to get reps at center. It helps having another center out there, knowing where to go and knowing the offense a little bit better.”
Arians said the starters will play the entire first half against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night in the Cardinals three preseason game.