UPDATE (6:54 p.m. ET): Josh Kline won’t be traded to the Philadelphia Eagles after all, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported. What that means for Kline’s status on the New England Patriots wasn’t immediately known.
ORIGINAL STORY: FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots’ decision to move on from Josh Kline created a void on their offensive line. It remains to be seen how they’ll fill it.
Kline was expected to begin the season as New England’s starting right guard after Shaq Mason suffered a broken hand during the preseason. Instead, the Patriots reportedly traded him and a conditional draft pick to the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday in exchange for defensive back Eric Rowe.
Kline’s Week 1 replacement likely will be one of three players: Mason, who sported a large hand cast at practice Tuesday, rookie Ted Karras or Jonathan Cooper, whom the Patriots acquired via trade earlier this year.
Cooper, the seventh overall pick in the 2013 draft, suffered a foot injury on the third day of training camp and missed the entire preseason as a result. When approached by reporters Tuesday, he declined to reveal whether he expects to play Sunday night against his former team, the Arizona Cardinals.
“I can’t speak for (the Patriots),” Cooper said when asked if Tuesday’s trade was a sign he’s healthy enough to return. “All I can do is speak for myself and say I’m working hard and kind of let them make all those decisions. All I can do is focus on the day-to-day, getting better and continuing to improve.”
Cooper played in 14 games for the Cardinals last season, starting nine. Arizona sent him and a second-round draft pick to New England this past March in a trade for Pro Bowl defensive end Chandler Jones.
“It catches you off guard, but you understand it’s the nature of the business,” Cooper said, describing his feelings post-trade. “Wherever you go next, you’re going to just put your best foot forward and play to the best of your ability.”
While his on-field activity has been limited thus far in his Patriots career, Cooper said the work he has put in away from practice has prevented him from falling too far behind his teammates.
“One of the big slogans here is, ‘Don’t let what you can’t do dictate what you can do,’ ” Cooper said. “So every aspect other than what I couldn’t physically do, whether that’s the mental aspects, whether that’s just extra work on the body parts that I could (work), it’s just doing that and taking full advantage of the time I had.
“They just push you to work hard. That’s the biggest thing. They indoctrinate you to continuously work hard. Not saying that any organization doesn’t, I just know that’s what (the Patriots) are doing, and I enjoy it.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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