Jonathan Cooper loses starting job to Ted Larsen while injured

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Jonathan Cooper may be healthy, but that doesn't mean he'll be given his starting job back.

Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Wednesday that Cooper will not re-enter the starting lineup at right guard, where he played through Week 10 at Seattle before injuring his knee.

"Ted's playing better," Arians said, referring to Arizona's new starting right guard, Ted Larsen.

Cooper did not practice the week after Seattle and missed Arizona's games against Cincinnati in Week 11 and at San Francisco on Sunday. The third-year offensive lineman returned to practice in full on Wednesday for the first time since the bye week and is "almost full strength," Arians said.

"Coop is moving much better," Arians added.

Cooper's career, which began at left guard, has been marred by injuries. He missed his rookie season after breaking his leg during the third preseason game of 2013. He was healthy heading into 2014 but struggled to overcome the mental hurdles associated with returning from a major injury, which caused him to lose his starting job to Larsen, who started all 16 games last season. Throughout the season, Cooper dealt with turf toe, a knee injury and a wrist issue.

During this past offseason, the Cardinals signed Mike Iupati during free agency and moved Cooper to right guard where he quietly started the first 10 games of the season.

But after Cooper lost his starting job while injured, Arians isn't disappointed in the former first-round pick.

"I think when you look at the offensive linemen that are coming out of college today, it's going to take them a while to get to this level," Arians said. "He's tough. He's athletic. He's just continuing to grow. Right now, we don't have time for the growth because Teddy's got more experience and is playing better.

"But I think he's going to be a heck of a player."