NFC West: Injury situations that matter

December, 12, 2008
12/12/08
12:12
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Arizona: The Cardinals have a league-low two players on injured reserve, and neither was a key contributor. Clark Haggans' season is in jeopardy thanks to a foot injury, but Arizona's depth remains sufficient barring another injury in the front seven. Pass rusher Bertrand Berry has been able to play through a shoulder injury, but he has only one sack in his last seven games. Receiver Steve Breaston has played through injured ribs.

St. Louis: Aging defensive linemen La'Roi Glover (knee) and Leonard Little (hamstring) are wearing down. Kicker Josh Brown says his groin injury isn't the reason for recent missed field-goal tries, but the slightest degree of doubt can affect a kicker's mindset. Special-teams standout Gary Stills (knee) is also hurting.

San Francisco: Frank Gore's ankle injury figures to sideline him or limit his effectiveness. Without Gore or with a diminished Gore, the 49ers will probably pass more frequently. They also lose most of the big-play threat from their running game. The 49ers were already accustomed to functioning without receiver Arnaz Battle, so his likely absence with a foot injury isn't as significant. Getting cornerback Nate Clements back from a thumb injury should help the secondary against a Dolphins team without receiver Greg Camarillo. Clements' ability to make plays on the ball aggressively could suffer, however. Allen Rossum's return comes at the right time because the 49ers had been using Battle and Clements on punt returns.

Seattle: The Seahawks two best players on offense -- quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and left tackle Walter Jones -- probably will not play. Backup quarterback Seneca Wallace is finally healthy, however, and that gives life to the Seahawks' offense. Linebacker Leroy Hill (neck), one of the Seahawks' better players on defense this season, will probably miss the game.

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