If that’s the case, the Chiefs still received something for their investment in McGrath and Cooper. The Chiefs claimed them off waivers shortly before the start of the regular season, McGrath from Seattle and Cooper from San Francisco.
But McGrath and Cooper, forced into the lineup by injuries, might have staying power. McGrath, who inherited the starting spot because Anthony Fasano and Travis Kelce were unable to play, caught five passes and scored the Chiefs’ first touchdown.
Cooper, a rookie drafted by the 49ers in the seventh round, started in place of Brandon Flowers, who has a sore knee. Cooper played well enough that he should be able to keep a role once Flowers returns.
Credit general manager John Dorsey for acquiring both players. They were low-risk moves, two of the seven players the Chiefs claimed off waivers at the start of the season to help them improve the bottom of their depth chart.
The Chiefs had nothing to lose and a lot to gain and already those moves look good. Cooper in particular looks like he could help the Chiefs for some time. He’s 6-2, fast and a converted wide receiver who played just two seasons of cornerback in college at Rutgers. If nothing else, he could provide the Chiefs a third cornerback after the starters, Flowers and Sean Smith.
“He’s just starting to learn the position,’’ Dorsey said. “But he has a natural feel for the position. He has that length you like in a cornerback. He’s got the recovery speed you like. There’s still a lot of development left with him. A lot of development.’’
Cooper took the Arrowhead Stadium field Sunday against Eli Manning, who was throwing to a group of receivers that includes Victor Cruz. He wasn’t fazed.
“He sure is competitive,’’ Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “I sure appreciated seeing that. That’s a pretty good receiving group there and he didn’t bow down. He came out and challenged and played good, competitive football.’’