Cardinals cut 13 players, put Cooper on season-ending IR
AUG 30, 2013 12:31p ET
The other players released were former University of Arizona receivers Mike Thomas and Dan Buckner, former Arizona State linebacker Colin Parker, guard Chilo Rachal, guard Senio Kelemete, receiver Charles Hawkins, center Adam Bice, tight end Alex Gottlieb, linebacker Zack Nash, tight end Richard Quinn, safety Curtis Taylor and safety Jonathon Amaya, who may have lost a battle with Oklahoma rookie Tony Jefferson. Jefferson has made several impressive plays this preseason, including a sack and a fumble recovery Thursday in Denver.
Thomas, Buckner and Hawkins had been among those competing for the team's fourth and fifth receiver spots, while Rachal was considered a backup option at guard in light of Cooper's injury. Arians said ASU product Kerry Taylor and rookie Jaron Brown have continued to impress and are still in the battle for the final receiver spots. Rachal likely lost out to rookie fourth-round draft pick Earl Watford, who has been inconsistent but has the advantage of having been drafted, meaning the team is invested in him.
The cuts brought the Cardinals' roster to 60 players. Since Cooper won't count against the roster and linebacker Daryl Washington won't either while he is suspended for the first four games, the Cards must make six more roster moves to reach the NFL-mandated limit of 53 by 3 p.m. Saturday. Arians expects those decisions to be made by noon, and the team will then start choosing its eight-man practice squad Sunday.
The Cards had hoped that Cooper, the starter at left guard, would be able to return later in the season -- possibly with six games to play -- but his medical report changed their minds. The NFL allows teams to designate one IR player for potential return the same season.
“(We) don’t feel like 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 like 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 hoped for.”