Broncos rookie Jonathon Cooper conquered a heart defect to achieve his dream

Jul 28, 2021; Englewood, CO, United States; Denver Broncos outside linebacker Jonathon Cooper (53) during training camp at UCHealth Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Broncos rookie Jonathon Cooper’s story is one of the most inspirational tales the NFL has ever seen. After three heart procedures in May, his NFL future was in doubt. However, according to head coach Vic Fangio, Cooper overcame the odds and is now a confirmed member of the 53 man roster.

“He’s made improvements the whole way. The more he plays, the better he’ll be,”

Vic Fangio

Cooper was drafted 239th overall in the 7th round by the Broncos in theNFLDraft. His unique road started in high school when he was diagnosed with an irregular heart rhythm. Cooper later found out that he had Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a defect that results in an irregular or rapid heart rhythm.

Despite two ablations in high school, which are procedures that restore a normal heart rhythm, Cooper still competed and went on to play college football at Ohio State for the Buckeyes. Those two ablations restored his heart rhythm until he received his medical checks just 48 hours before the first round of the NFL Draft. Cooper found out that he needed another ablation.

Regardless of the health scare, the Broncos believed in Cooper’s approach to the game, maturity, and athletic ability, according to general manager George Patton. However, there were more complications this time around. “the doctors, they had a hard time getting to the right spot,” said Cooper.

After three separate, eight-hour procedures in May, Jonathon Cooper returned to the Broncos, medically cleared. There was massive doubt that these procedures would ultimately end Cooper’s career before it even started. However, as he did in the past, Jonathon Cooper succeeded in the adversity put in front of him.

After the three procedures, Cooper can fully focus on his lifetime dream of playing in the NFL. So far in the preseason, he has been supremely impressive. Registering six tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble in just 62 snaps. He’ll now be a rotational pass rusher for the Broncos behind Bradley Chubb and a returning Von Miller.

Jonathon Cooper’s journey to the NFL is one of perseverance and triumph. Though his NFL dreams were in jeopardy at times, Cooper stood the course and never stopped believing in himself. Now learning from some of the best pass rushers in the NFL, Cooper is in great hands to succeed in the NFL.

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