Cleveland also noted it waived offensive lineman Anthony Fabiano and placed offensive lineman Austin Reiter on the injured reserve list because of a knee injury.
According to Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com, Pro Football Focus ranked Cooper, who hasn’t seen the field this year because of a foot injury, as the 50th-best guard in the league in 2015. The Patriots released him Saturday and never got the opportunity to play him after acquiring the lineman from the Arizona Cardinals during the offseason.
New England sent defensive end Chandler Jones to Arizona in the swap.
Scott Petrak of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram pointed out a broken leg forced Cooper to miss his rookie season in 2013, so injuries are nothing new for the lineman.
Cooper entered the league as the seventh overall pick after being a consensus All-American at North Carolina in 2012. He is just 26 years old and has started at both left guard and right guard in his career.
In addition to his versatility, NFL.com lists him at 6’2”, 310 pounds. When healthy, he can add an element of size and physicality to an offensive line that has struggled in pass protection during an 0-5 start. As of Monday, Football Outsiders ranked Cleveland’s offensive line as the 25th-best pass-protecting unit in the league.
If Cooper gets healthy and lives up to his billing as a top-10 pick, there is an opportunity to play his way into the rotation for a group that can use some help.