Wednesday, December 2, 2009
NFC West: Injury situations that matter
By Mike Sando
Arizona: Kurt Warner's condition will remain an issue right up until kickoff unless the Cardinals rule him out unexpectedly before then. Whether or not Warner starts, protecting the quarterback will be a challenge for the Cardinals. Left tackle Mike Gandy (pelvis) missed practice Wednesday and will not be full strength even if he starts, complicating an already difficult matchup against Vikings defensive end Jared Allen. The Cardinals' depth at linebacker is another concern. A shoulder injury limited Karlos Dansby in practice Wednesday. Rookie Cody Brown is on injured reserve. Fellow rookie Will Davis will miss several weeks after undergoing surgery. Chike Okeafor and Gerald Hayes have also had injury issues in recent weeks. That is a position to monitor.
San Francisco: The 49ers are relatively healthy. Barry Sims continues to give them an unexpectedly high level of play while left tackle Joe Staley prepares for a Dec. 14 return against the Cardinals. Fullback Brit Miller could help on special teams now that Curtis Taylor is on injured reserve. The 49ers continue to miss cornerback Nate Clements in run support. He is a strong tackler.
Seattle: The Seahawks are relatively healthy. Running back Julius Jones could return, but there's no rush as long as Justin Forsett is playing well. Defensive ends Cory Redding (concussion) and Lawrence Jackson (groin) did not practice Wednesday. Both could be available Sunday, as could backup linebacker D.D. Lewis (knee). Jones remains the starter if available, coach Jim Mora said, but Forsett has earned significant reps.
St. Louis: The Rams are hurting at running back, quarterback and on the offensive line. Getting right guard Richie Incognito back restores needed depth to the line, but center Jason Brown (knee) missed practice Wednesday for the first time in his career. His status for Sunday is uncertain. The team is also proceeding cautiously with rookie right tackle Jason Smith (concussion). The injuries up front are magnified now that running back Steven Jackson is playing through back trouble and fullback Mike Karney has neck problems.