Cooper comfortable with first return to contact

Monday's practice was Jonathan Cooper's first with full contact since breaking his fibula last August.

GLENDALE, Ariz. — In his first contact action since suffering a broken fibula last August, Cardinals left guard Jonathan Cooper felt comfortable and free of hesitation.

"I had my ups and my downs, made a few mistakes, but I felt OK," Cooper said. "I was a little surprised at how easy it was to go from no-contact to full contact, but the mistakes were there. That’s what’s sitting there on my mind, but I was pleased with how I was able to transition."

Cooper, the Cardinals’ first-round pick (7th overall) in 2013, hasn’t participated in contact practice since the injury in the Cardinals’ third preseason game last Aug. 24. Monday was the first day the Cardinals practiced in pads this training camp.

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Monday’s first practice in pads would be a big day for Cooper from a mental standpoint, and it appears Cooper had no issues or mental barriers to overcome.

"Ever since OTAs, I’ve felt better, Cooper said. "Since we started here it has felt a little more natural, a little bit more reactive, just letting things fall into place rather than over-thinking it. I did feel very comfortable today. No hesitation.

"They definitely made sure we got plenty of hitting in, so I got my feel of it, and we’ll do some more tomorrow."

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