NFC West: Injury situations that matter

December, 26, 2012
12/26/12
11:31
PM ET
Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals placed second-year tight end Rob Housler (shoulder) on injured reserve. Receiver LaRon Byrd (knee), receiver Early Doucet (concussion), guard Mike Gibson (calf), tackle Nate Potter (ankle), fullback Anthony Sherman (knee) and safety Adrian Wilson (illness) did not practice Wednesday. Arizona is now without its top two tight ends entering the season. Housler is out and former starter Todd Heap was released. Potter's injury is concerning because he could be diminished, or the team could have to play D'Anthony Batiste at left tackle in his place. The 49ers' Aldon Smith will be gunning for the NFL's single-season sacks record.

St. Louis Rams: The Rams held out cornerback Cortland Finnegan (thigh), running back Steven Jackson (foot), linebacker James Laurinaitis (back) and center Scott Wells (knee). Safety Craig Dahl (knee) was limited. Not much new here. The same players appeared on the Rams' injury report last week. All played during the Rams' victory at Tampa Bay. Finnegan was limited to 54 percent of the defensive snaps. Rookie Trumaine Johnson showed he can play well with increased snaps. He played 94 percent. Laurinaitis appeared to play well. He played every snap against the Bucs. Wells played every snap as well. Jackson played 82 percent. The Rams appear to be limiting snaps in practice as a precaution.

San Francisco 49ers: Injuries to key players are mounting for the 49ers. Tight end Vernon Davis (concussion) and defensive lineman Justin Smith (elbow) did not practice. Davis did not finish the game at Seattle. Smith has not played since the second half at New England two weeks ago. Receiver Mario Manningham (knee) is out for the season. It's looking like Randy Moss, Delanie Walker and Garrett Celek could see more playing time than usual. That was already the case against Seattle. Moss played 74 percent of the snaps. He had been in the 30 percent range before the 49ers lost Kyle Williams and Manningham to season-ending injuries. Celek played 51 percent of the snaps against Seattle. Walker was at 77 percent. Justin Smith's injury is making life tougher for an defensive line rotation that lacks depth. It's also creating fewer favorable matchups for Aldon Smith.

Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks held out from practice receiver Sidney Rice (knee), tight end Anthony McCoy (back), tackle Breno Giacomini (elbow), running back Marshawn Lynch (back), linebacker Leroy Hill (hamstring), cornerback Walter Thurmond (hamstring) and defensive end Red Bryant (foot). Cornerback Marcus Trufant and defensive tackle Alan Branch practiced. Both have been injured recently. Trufant has been out for weeks. Thurmond's continued absence could hurt if the team loses starting corner Richard Sherman to a suspension. The NFL is expected to rule on Sherman's case as early as Thursday. Fellow corner Brandon Browner remains suspended until the team's first playoff game.

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