Can Jonathan Cooper Play With Pain?

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Arizona general manager Steve Keim apparently thinks last season’s first-round pick needs to be able to play with pain. According to Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk, Cooper needs to find a way to get on the field despite not being 100 percent.

Cooper is battling turf toe right now which is slowing his comeback from the broken leg he suffered last year in the preseason.

“The guy had a tremendous career at North Carolina, and to my knowledge was never hurt or ever had a significant injury. So now this offseason, he’s had to deal not only with a significant lower-leg injury, now he has a significant turf-toe injury. Turf toes can be major issues,” Keim said, via the Arizona Republic. “I think it’s going to come down to the fact that he’s going to have to feel comfortable getting back on the field and, on top of that, a guy who has never been hurt is going to have to understand how to play and manage playing in pain. That’s going to be awkward for him, but the most time he is out here … he’s just going to have to get used to it. He understands that. It’s sad because we all have such high expectations. I’m disappointed in the injuries; I’m not disappointed in the player.”

Ted Larsen could wind up starting Monday night against San Diego since Cooper is running with the second unit.

Playing with pain is part of life in professional sports. Hopefully Cooper can find a way to do it so the Cardinals can get the seventh-overall pick last year back on the field instead of in the press box.