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Around the NFC West: First impressions

Good morning, NFC West.

The three division teams with exhibition openers Thursday night appeared to come through without season-altering injuries to key players.

Around the NFC West: Aug. 9, 2013

The St. Louis Rams are hopeful right tackle Rodger Saffold suffered only a minor shoulder injury. Saffold left the Rams' opener against Cleveland after just two plays. That injury stood out as a concern simply because Saffold has had a hard time staying healthy in general.

Rams receiver Chris Givens picked up where he left off last season with a 59-yard reception and a 3-yard scoring catch. Another second-year player of note, running back Isaiah Pead, lost a fumble on one of his three carries. I thought quarterback Sam Bradford was sharp while completing 5 of 8 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown.

The San Francisco 49ers sounded pleased with first-round pick Eric Reid, who is fighting for the starting job at free safety. I thought the 49ers' second-round pick, tight end Vance McDonald, also made a positive impact despite dropping a short pass at one point. The team is going to need more from receiver A.J. Jenkins, who fumbled following his lone reception.

The Seattle Seahawks, meanwhile, showed off their depth at wide receiver and cornerback. Stephen Williams and Jermaine Kearse each caught touchdown passes, validating the progress they have shown in camp. Tarvaris Jackson's 128-yard, two-touchdown passing performance left the impression Seattle has the best backup quarterback in the division.

Next up: The Arizona Cardinals' exhibition opener at Green Bay.