SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Chargers have signed inside linebacker Kevin Bentley to a one-year deal.
The signing Wednesday was an insurance move in case former University of Maine star Stephen Cooper can’t play due to a torn right biceps. Cooper, hurt during Sunday night’s exhibition win at Dallas, returned to practice Wednesday and hopes to play in Saturday night’s game at Arizona.
“I’m sure that’s what he would like to have happen and if he can we’ll do that,” Chargers coach Norv Turner told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “But I think with this type of injury, we’re just going to see how it goes on a day to day basis.“
Cooper suffered the injury while attempting to make a tackle and continued on for several more plays before leaving the game. A subsequent MRI revealed a complete tear and he was advised by the team to get surgery, with Turner saying earlier in the week that Cooper would be sidelined for two to three months and likely put on injured reserve, the San Diego paper reported.
But Cooper wants to play through the injury.
“I told them, ‘Let me go out there and do it,’ ” Cooper told the San Diego paper. “I said, ‘If you don’t feel like I’m doing my job or playing up to expectations, then you make the judgment.’ ”
Cooper started for San Diego from 2007 through 2010 before becoming a free agent. He subsequently was re-signed by the Chargers to a one-year contract on Aug. 12 to provide depth at inside linebacker.
Bentley is a 10-year veteran who played with Houston last year.