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Friday, June 17, 2011
Around the NFC West: Kaepernick's health

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says San Francisco 49ers rookie quarterback Colin Kaepernick is nearly all the way back from the leg surgery he underwent earlier this offseason. Barrows: "The 49ers quarterback revealed today that he ran two miles at Stanford Hospital as part of his rehabilitation from a surgical procedure on his left leg. He's also been throwing regularly at the recent workout sessions at San Jose State. Kaepernick had the operation in early May and has been mum on the details." Kaepernick: "I'm a little anxious for the doctors to really cut me loose and say, go ahead. I'm kind of on their time. They're just trying to take every precaution. I feel like I might be able to do more than they think."

Eric Branch of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says Kaepernick's injury did not affect him much at Nevada. Branch: "He played through the injury in his final four games of his senior year at Nevada and averaged 11.5 rushes and 64.3 yards a game. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds at the NFL Combine in late February, the second-fastest time among the 17 quarterbacks who ran at the event."

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says San Jose State is happy to give the 49ers' players a place to work out. Maiocco: "San Jose State has a history of being gracious hosts to NFL visitors. In recent seasons, the New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys have trained at San Jose State while on West Coast trips. The Patriots are scheduled to return this season. The 49ers' involvement with San Jose State began several years ago when linebacker Jeff Ulbrich would work out regularly during the summer. Bryant Young also forged a bond with the athletic department during the final years of his playing career."

Andrew Astleford of Fox Sports Midwest says Rams fans need to make sure their team doesn't leave for Los Angeles. He quotes Dan Lebowitz, executive director of Sport in Society at Northeastern University, this way: "The thing about an NFL team is that it doesn't matter what socioeconomic background you're from, it doesn't matter what race you are, it doesn't matter what your ethnicity is, it doesn't matter what your religious affiliation is, it doesn't matter about anything that generally divides us. The things about teams in general -- particularly teams in your city -- is that they are this great unifier."

Allaccess.com quotes Rams executive Kevin Demoff and others regarding the team's contract extension with 101ESPN St. Louis. Demoff: "We are thrilled to be continuing our partnership with 101 ESPN. Together we have been able to grow our brands and become the home for sports listeners in St. Louis."

VanRam of Turf Show Times says stats from Pro Football Focus suggest the Rams' tight ends aren't very good in pass protection. I thought Mike Hoomanawanui showed pretty good ability in that area at times, although injuries kept him off the field too much.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com catches up with former cornerback Shawn Springs, the nickel corner on the team's 35th anniversary squad. Farnsworth: "Springs left the Seahawks after the 2003 season, signing with the Washington Redskins on the first day of the free-agency period in 2004. After five seasons with the Redskins, he played for the New England Patriots in 2009. In a 2008 game at Qwest Field, Springs intercepted a Matt Hasselbeck pass at the Seahawks’ 44-yard line with 80 seconds left to ice the Redskins’ 20-17 victory. Springs' tenure with the Seahawks bridged what never quiet was and what was to come. He played his first two seasons under Dennis Erickson, when the team finished 8-8 twice. He played the next five under Holmgren, when the Seahawks won the AFC West title in 1999 before going 6-10, 9-7, 7-9 and, finally, 10-6."

Also from Farnsworth: Springs and former teammate Bobby Engram, now a 49ers assistant coach, trade jabs.

Brady Henderson of 710ESPN Seattle passes along John Clayton's thoughts regarding Nnamdi Asomugha and Seattle. Clayton: "I just get the feeling that they [the Seahawks] wouldn't pay the $12-13 million a year but that could be wrong. They can pay [that much]. I think the one concern would be this team wants to get younger and wants to get younger as fast as possible, and bringing in a [30]-year-old corner is not going to get the team younger. It will make it better, because now what it does is it sets up a great three-cornerback set [with Asomugha, Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond]."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com links to a Larry Fitzgerald video from the receiver's days at Pitt. He also posts a photo from Fitzgerald's recent workouts with Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton, noting that it has nothing to do with which veteran quarterback Arizona will pursue in the market this offseason. Urban: "Orton apparently has known Fitz for a long time and besides, this happens all the time (Greg Jennings has long been a regular with Fitz in Minny; why doesn’t anyone peg Jennings as a future Card?). It’s probably not a coincidence that Orton’s Broncos teammate and one-time University of Minnesota Gopher, receiver Eric Decker, is also in the picture having worked out. Maybe that’s the real Orton connection?" Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck recently indicated he had an invite to work out with Fitzgerald. That also would have nothing to do with any moves the Cardinals might make once the signing period opens.