Around the NFC West: Adrian Wilson's arm

August, 24, 2011
8/24/11
9:41
AM ET
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Adrian Wilson was back on the Cardinals' practice field in a limited capacity, his first on-field work since suffering an injured biceps tendon. Wilson still hopes to play in the regular-season opener. The injury news at quarterback wasn't so good for Arizona. John Skelton has a high-ankle sprain. Max Hall is out with a shoulder injury and has probably seen any chance of making a run for a roster spot disappear as a result. Wilson's toughness is pretty legendary. I have to think he'll be on the field for Week 1 if it's possible. But what happens when he extends his arms to deflect a pass or make a tackle? As tough as it is to envision Wilson missing the opener, it's just as tough to envision that biceps holding up for a full season.

Also from Somers: The Cardinals have options at inside linebacker. Somers on Stewart Bradley's talent relative to that of former inside linebacker Gerald Hayes: "Bradley's size and athleticism make him versatile. At 6-4, 258 pounds, Bradley gives the Cardinals a physical presence in the middle that they've lacked since Hayes was healthy. At his peak, Bradley is a better player than Hayes at his best. But Bradley can do more than take on offensive linemen. His speed makes him an asset in coverage and a capable blitzer."

More from Somers: O'Brien Schofield took to heart his demotion and criticisms from the Cardinals' coaching staff. Somers: "Schofield, a fourth-round pick in 2010 from Wisconsin, dedicated himself to studying last week. He made flash cards of formations and his responsibilities, and had Sam Acho and fellow linebacker Reggie Walker grilling him constantly. Schofield skipped pre-practice naps to study. He studied as he was receiving medical treatment and before he went to sleep. If other guys were joking during practice, he moved away from them to concentrate."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com links to video from Wilson's return.

Also from Urban: seeking continuity on the Cardinals' offensive line.

More from Urban: on receiver Stephen Williams' progress in Cardinals camp.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Darian Stewart is getting some work with the first-team defense ahead of Craig Dahl at strong safety. Thomas: "Stewart saw most of his action as a rookie on special teams. But late in the season he was worked in on defense, coming in on certain packages in passing situations. Stewart acknowledged that he was a bit overwhelmed at times during his rookie season. He was trying to learn both safety positions as well as his responsibilities on special teams." Dahl has a $1.6 million salary this season. Stewart's salary is $450,000.

Also from Coats: Mike Hoomanawanui could be out for a while, but Danario Alexander is practicing again.

Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com says Week 3 of the preseason is when the Rams' offense needs to pick up the pace.

Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explores football's harsh realities through the eyes of a few Rams players.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch offers thoughts on the Rams' roster during a recent chat.

Also from Thomas: The Rams are counting on Quintin Mikell. Thomas: "Mikell earned his spurs as a special teams player, twice being named the Eagles' special teams MVP. For most of those early years in Philly, Mikell bided his time at safety, backing up Pro Bowlers Brian Dawkins and Michael Lewis. As a young player, Mikell looked up to Dawkins in particular, watching everything he did."

Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com says the coaching staff "loves" Stewart's potential at safety.

Also from Wagoner: an appreciation for former snapper Chris Massey. Wagoner: "He was an absolute beast in the weight room, regularly registering lifting records that placed him even with or above the biggest and strongest linemen. He was a diligent student in the classroom as he’d be off the practice field and in the film room watching that day’s practice within minutes of the end of the workout."

More from Wagoner: Alexander's fight for a roster spot.

More yet from Wagoner: Mikell's impact. Wagoner: "Mikell went to the Pro Bowl following the 2009 season after he posted 90 tackles, 13 passes defended and two interceptions. Oddly enough, he did not go last year despite bettering that performance with 111 tackles, 14 passes defended, three interceptions and three fumble recoveries. For his career, Mikell has 444 tackles, four sacks, 46 passes defended, 10 interceptions, seven forced fumble and seven fumble recoveries."

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com reports from the team's annual closest-to-the-pin competition precipitating the Champions Tour event sponsored in part by the team. Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, who recently defended his title in the Seahawks' annual home-run derby, defended his title in this event as well. But it wasn't quite good enough to beat professional Jay Don Blake. Farnsworth: "For the record, Blake’s winning shot was 2 feet, 4 inches from the pin, while Whitehurst was second at 8 feet, 4 inches. Mike Goodes, another Senior Tour golfer who’s also in town for the Champions Tour’s Boeing Classic at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge this weekend, was next at 12 feet, 3 inches. Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate’s best effort was 15 feet, 4 inches."

Also from Farnsworth: Seahawks coach Pete Carroll acknowledges Whitehurst's progress while recommitting to Tarvaris Jackson as the team's starting quarterback.

More from Farnsworth: The Seahawks see David Vobora as a versatile backup with special-teams value. Farnsworth: "The coaches envision Vobora possibly filling the same role Will Herring did last season, when Herring was the backup at all three linebacker spots but capable of stepping in to start at any of them – and also a big contributor of special teams."

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times updates the Seahawks' injury situation. Kam Chancellor missed practice.

Also from O'Neil: thoughts on Aaron Curry's new contract. O'Neil: "Seattle was not going to cut Curry. Not with the amount of money that was guaranteed under the terms of that contract both in 2011 and 2012. So why did this get done? Well, Curry was willing to give up the provision that his 2012 base salary was guaranteed in order to have the final two seasons of the contract removed. Seattle may have seen that like selling the sleeves off a vest as Curry was unlikely to remain on the team for the final two years of the contract as it was. But this kind of forces the issue with Curry's future and creates a clearer timeline that Curry may be able to find a new role -- likely with a different team -- after this season and certainly after 2012."

More from O'Neil: Brandon Browner and Josh Pinkard are making an impact in the Seahawks' secondary.

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune offers updates from Seahawks practice. On the injury front, Ben Obomanu and Chris Clemons were back on the field.

Also from Williams: Whitehurst appears to have taken Jackson's promotion as a wake-up call.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee revisits Greg Cosell's scouting report on Taylor Mays to help explain why the safety didn't stick with the 49ers. Cosell now: "The NFL game is about lateral movement and change of direction, and he doesn't have that. ... I thought he was overall a big-time stiff, and I thought he was very lucky to be picked in the second round." Mays most likely would still be on the 49ers' roster if Mike Singletary were the team's head coach. But that would not have assured success for Mays over time. The hard feelings Mays expressed toward Carroll when the Seahawks selected Earl Thomas instead of Mays appeared misplaced at the time, and more now.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says injury issues have prevented Shawntae Spencer from tightening his grip on the starting job at right cornerback. Spencer: "There's no use in being frustrated because it's something you can't control. It's out of my control. All I can do is what Fergie [Jeff Ferguson, director of football operations and sports medicine] tells me to do every day and try to get back as soon as I can."

Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News says coach Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers aren't making any bold proclamations about Alex Smith as their starting quarterback for the regular season. Inman: "Smith has started both exhibition games and is on target to secure the job ahead of rookie Colin Kaepernick and veteran Josh McCown. Smith started the first seven games last season and has a 19-31 record as a starter since being drafted first overall in 2005. Asked when he planned to announce his starting quarterback, Harbaugh replied: 'Before the first game.' That would be Sept. 11 against the Seattle Seahawks at Candlestick Park." Smith is the starter whether or not Harbaugh makes an announcement, based simply on the fact that he continues to start preseason games.

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle says rookie tight end Konrad Reuland is making a strong push for a roster spot. Harbaugh: "He's really having a great camp. I coached him in college and I've always had great respect for Konrad's game and he's elevated here ... He is doing real well, giving himself a great chance to be in the mix and potentially make the team."

Al Sarasevic of the San Francisco Chronicle passes along Carmen Policy's thoughts on recent violence at Candlestick Park.

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