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Cardinals Claim Wide Receiver Pharoh Cooper

Rams waived pass catcher this week prior to visit this Sunday

Then-Rams wide receiver Pharoh Cooper tries to get away from Cardinals safety Budda Baker during a 2017 game. Cooper was claimed off waivers by the Cardinals Wednesday.
Then-Rams wide receiver Pharoh Cooper tries to get away from Cardinals safety Budda Baker during a 2017 game. Cooper was claimed off waivers by the Cardinals Wednesday.

The Cardinals were awarded their waiver claim on wide receiver Pharoh Cooper Wednesday, after Cooper had been cut by the Rams this week.

The Cards had an open roster spot to fill.

Cooper was released when the Rams, beset by injuries at running back, signed veteran C.J. Anderson. The Rams visit State Farm Stadium and the Cardinals Sunday.

"They're getting a great competitor, a tough football player," Rams coach Sean McVay said during a conference call with Arizona reporters. "He's got great instincts when the ball is in his hands. A hard worker. We think the world of him here.

"It wasn't anything that Pharoh didn't do. It was more a result of just a numbers deal where two of our three running backs on the active roster were banged up and we had to create a spot. That's definitely a big, added bonus (for the Cardinals) and we wish him nothing but the best."

Cooper, injured for much of this season, had no receptions in five games. Last season, playing in all 16 games, he had 11 receptions for 84 yards. He is known much more for being a return man -- in 2016, he averaged 12.5 yards on 32 punt returns and 27.4 yards on 34 kickoff returns, and made the Pro Bowl in that capacity.

He suffered an ankle injury in Week 1 and was placed on injured reserve. He was brought back in Week 11. In his limited time this season, Cooper had just two punt returns for 12 yards and 21.3 yards on 13 kickoff returns.

Cooper never was a big part of the Los Angeles passing game, although he could get a look at some point with the Cardinals -- if not in the final two weeks then the offseason as General Manager Steve Keim tries to revamp the roster.

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