The best-case scenario is that Cooper misses part of summer workouts, returns healthy and has no issues throughout the season. The worst-case scenario is that the recovery takes longer than expected and he is out into training camp or longer and the injury impairs his play.
What makes the injury particularly vexing is that there isn’t a clear No. 2 center behind Cooper. After the injury, Johnson turned to offensive tackle Jahaziel Lee, who had never played center. (Such was Lee’s inexperience that quarterback Lucas Johnson, who rooms with Lee, said the two of them practiced snaps in their room before the spring game.) Perhaps the best candidate is offensive tackle Andrew Marshall, who subbed for Freddie Burden. However, Marshall missed all of last season with a leg injury and did not practice in the spring, either. Walk-on Chet Lagod, who played center for the White team (second-string offense) Friday, is another possibility.
Further, moving either Marshall or Lee to center obviously weakens the tackle position.
“So we’ll continue to work Jahaziel there, and if we get Kenny back and Andrew back, we’ll sort it out and try to get the best five out there at some position,” Johnson said.