Cooper will attempt to get payback less than a week removed from his former employer cutting him loose. He likely hasn't had a enough time in the system to get reps in a lacking receiving corps outside of Larry Fitzgerald. However, Cooper's All-Pro pedigree as a returner could be on full display.
Cut loose by the Rams a day earlier, Cooper quickly found a new home in the NFC West. He was named to the Pro Bowl as a return specialist last season, but he played a role in two turnovers during a playoff loss to Atlanta, then dealt with an ankle injury for much of 2018. The woeful Cardinals have nothing to lose by giving Cooper a look on special teams.
The Rams waived Cooper on Tuesday, Myles Simmons of the Rams' official site reports.
After emerging from the regular-season opener with an ankle injury, Cooper spent the next nine weeks on IR. Since his return Week 11, he primarily served as a kick returner, bringing out 10 at a clip of 20.2 yards per run back. That's a far cry from his league-leading mark of 27.4 in 2017, and with Todd Gurley (knee) and Justin Davis (shoulder) injured at the moment, Cooper appears to be a roster casualty in order to bolster the backfield for the short term. JoJo Natson will act as the Rams' kick and punt returner for the rest of the campaign.
As anticipated, Cooper will be ready to make his first appearance since Week 1 after enduring no complications with his ankle upon returning to practice last Tuesday. Per Rich Hammond of the Los Angeles Daily News, Cooper is likely to immediately recapture duties as the Rams' top kickoff returner, though JoJo Natson is expected to retain his gig as the team's No. 1 punt returner for at least one more game. Cooper could also quickly settle into a depth role at receiver, though he likely wouldn't see the field for much more than the occasional gadget play or in instances where the Rams deploy four-wideout sets. Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks and Josh Reynolds are locked in as the Rams' clear top three options at receiver.
Cooper was placed on injured reserve after injuring his ankle in the Rams' season-opening win over the Raiders. The 23-year-old was cleared to return to practice less than a week ago and appears to have progressed well during that time. Since Cooper didn't require surgery to address the ankle injury, he shouldn't be far behind the rest of his teammates from a conditioning standpoint. With that in mind, Cooper could reclaim duties as the Rams' top option on kickoff returns while also offering depth behind the team's top three healthy wideouts (Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods and Josh Reynolds). JoJo Natson would be the most negatively impacted by Cooper's impending return.
|2017||Los Angeles Rams||16||1||11||84||7.6||26||0||1||0||3|
|2018||Los Angeles Rams||5||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0|
|2017||Los Angeles Rams||16||1||1||6||6.0||6||0||0||1|
|2018||Los Angeles Rams||5||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2017||Los Angeles Rams||16||1||0||0||---||0||---||0||0||0||0/0||0||0||---|
|2018||Los Angeles Rams||5||0||0||0||---||0||---||0||0||0||0/0||0||0||---|
|2017||Los Angeles Rams||16||34||932||27.4||103||1||3|
|2018||Los Angeles Rams||5||13||277||21.3||28||0||0|
|2017||Los Angeles Rams||16||32||8||399||12.5||53||0||8|
|2018||Los Angeles Rams||5||2||1||12||6.0||12||0||0|
|2017||Los Angeles Rams||16||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2018||Los Angeles Rams||5||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2017||Los Angeles Rams||16||3||1||0||1||0||0||1||0|
|2018||Los Angeles Rams||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|