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NOTEBOOK: Cooper out for Cincinnati

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by CoronaDoug, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    NOTEBOOK: Cooper out for Cincinnati
    BY KEVIN ACEE
    THURSDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2010 AT 3:18 P.M.


    SEAN M. HAFFEY
    Stephen Cooper, here intercepting a pass last month in Indianapolis, will not play at Cincinnati due to a sprained MCL.


    The glue will be missing Sunday.

    Inside linebacker Stephen Cooper, who sprained his left MCL in the first quarter against San Francisco, has been ruled out for the Chargers game at Cincinnati.

    Cooper is not only a consistent tackler, he is responsible for recognizing and communicating to his teammates an offense’s personnel and formation.

    “He’s our captain for a reason,” linebacker Shaun Phillips said. “It’s always tough not having him in there, but we have capable guys like Brandon Siler, who’s played a lot of good football. There are 10 other guys on the field, as well. It means we all need to step up our game a little bit more.”

    Siler, who has been playing at less than 100 percent due to a rib injury, will start in place of Cooper. Not that it was all on Siler, by any means, but the last time Cooper didn’t play the Oakland Raiders ran for 251 yards on Dec. 5.

    “The majority of us didn’t play well that game,” Siler acknowledged. “We do it week in and week out on a high level. Because it happened one game that doesn’t mean …”

    The Oakland game aside, the Chargers defense is ranked second in the NFL against the run and first overall. And the Chargers have done it while using 14 different linebackers.

    Cooper missed two games earlier in September and has played with a brace after spraining his right MCL in the season opener. Siler missed four games in October with a foot injury. Shawne Merriman was put on injured reserve in October.

    In fact, Shaun Phillips, Kevin Burnett and Antwan Applewite are the only linebackers to have played every game.

    “This year has been crazy, guys going on IR, guys up and down all season with crazy injuries,” Cooper said. “At the same time you have to go to war with whoever is up that week.”

    It is even possible that Brandon Moore, signed Tuesday after playing the past two seasons in the United Football League, could be called on Sunday to spell Siler. And Siler having to play so much on defense could trickle down to special teams, where he will have his role limited.

    Cooper is expected back for the season finale next week in Denver.

    “I hate not playing,” Cooper said. “But I have a lot of faith in Brandon Siler and the rest of the guys to get the job done and keep this thing going.”

    First things first

    The Chargers have allowed just 14 of 62 third downs (22.6 percent) to be converted against them in the past five games, and that includes Oakland going 8-for-15 in the Chargers’ only loss since October.

    For the season, the Chargers have allowed just 31.7 percent of third downs to be converted, second in the NFL behind the New York Giants.

    That’s quite an improvement from the past two seasons, when the Chargers finished 23rd and 20th on third down defense, allowing 40.4 percent of third downs to be converted from 2008-09.

    The difference can certainly be attributed to the Chargers’ resilience on third down. But they are also much better defending first down.

    From 2008-09, opponents gained four or more yards on 51.7 percent of their first down plays. This year, they’ve done so on just 44.2 percent of their first downs.

    “It’s what it’s all about,” Norv Turner said. “If you play good on first and second down … you get in those situations where you have the upper hand.”

    Injury updates

    • Wide receiver Malcom Floyd (hamstring) missed practice again and it is appears unlikely he will play at Cincinnati.

    • Running back Ryan Mathews and fullback Jacob Hester returned to practice after missing Wednesday due to illness. Turner said Mathews missing a day of work hasn’t affected his absorption of the game plan and, thus, shouldn’t limit his playing time Sunday.

    • Outside linebacker Larry English returned to practice for the first time since injuring his foot Dec. 12. Turner indicated English will play Sunday if he doesn’t have a setback.

    •: Louis Vasquez will start at right guard Sunday for the first time in five games. He suffered nerve damage in his neck Nov. 22 against Denver. He returned to practice three weeks ago but has remained inactive for games.

    • Outside linebacker Antwan Applewhite worked all of Thursday’s practice after missing Wednesday with an ankle injury.

    NOTEBOOK: Cooper out for Cincinnati - SignOnSanDiego.com
     
  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Meh - maybe we won't have to watch our ILB's get dragged around by Cedric Benson now.
     
  3. nickelbolt

    nickelbolt Fuggedaboutit

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    Remember that Denver d-bag who was trolling this place a couple of years ago? I forget his screen name but I do remember he nicknamed Larry English "Muffin".

    English Muffin.:lol:lol

    That was actually quite brilliant. English has no toughness and has contributed nothing to this football team. What a major bust.

    I wish that Denver a-hole would come back to the forum. He was great.
     

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