Wednesday, November 24, 2010
NFC West: Injury situations that matter
By Mike Sando
Arizona: The Cardinals' injury report is not due until Thursday, one day later than usual, because the team is playing on Monday night. Running backs LaRod Stephens-Howling and Jason Wright could return this week, restoring flexibility to the offense and pop to the kick-return game. The team expects outside linebacker Clark Haggans to return, and just in time. Backup Will Davis landed on injured reserve with a broken leg. Rookie O'Brien Schofield could get some snaps, but the team is reluctant to play him extensively at this point. Cornerbacks Greg Toler and Michael Adams have injury concerns. Expect more details to emerge Thursday.
St. Louis: Left tackle Rodger Saffold plans to play against Denver after a shoulder injury prevented him from finishing the Atlanta game. He participated fully in practice Wednesday. Saffold has missed parts of multiple games, however. At receiver, Danario Alexander returned to practice Wednesday and declared himself ready to play for the first time since undergoing his most recent knee surgery. How the knee holds up over multiple days will determine whether the Rams can count on Alexander against the Broncos. The Rams expect to have veteran safety James Butler available. They held him out as a precaution against Atlanta.
San Francisco: The 49ers' injury report is not due until Thursday because the team plays Monday night. Joe Staley's continuing absence on the offensive line could become a more prominent storyline if the 49ers' running game continues to stall. The line struggled against Tampa Bay. Barry Sims started at left tackle in that game. Adam Snyder is a candidate to start there as well. Tight end Vernon Davis has had to fight through knee and ankle injuries this season. He expects to start against the Cardinals, but he has missed parts of games this season. On defense, pass-rusher Ahmad Brooks has had trouble regaining his form after missing the start of the season with a lacerated kidney, coach Mike Singletary suggested. That caught my attention because Brooks has previously given the Cardinals problems. He has two sacks this season after collecting three in a single game against Arizona in 2009.
Seattle: The Seahawks have not disclosed specifics on Mike Williams' foot injury. The team's leading receiver wore a boot on his foot while watching practice Wednesday. The team brought in former Seattle receiver Bobby Engram for a tryout Tuesday, but the Seahawks should be able to get by with Ben Obomanu, Brandon Stokley and Deon Butler at home if Williams misses time. On the offensive line, Seattle expects to use its ninth starting combination in 11 games after left guard Chester Pitts suffered an ankle injury against New Orleans. Mike Gibson is the favorite to start if he can get back from an ankle injury in time. Tyler Polumbus, a starter at both tackle spots, would start at left guard if Gibson were unavailable. Fullback Michael Robinson is expected back, a potential boost to the running game. On defense, Seattle remains without nose tackle Colin Cole, a concern against Kansas City's running game. It's also unclear whether cornerback Marcus Trufant will play. He suffered a concussion Sunday.