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Thursday, October 27, 2011
Around the NFC West: Bradford not ready

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Sam Bradford played every offensive snap for the St. Louis Rams in 2010.

The quarterback has missed 70 snaps so far this season, a total that figures to grow in Week 8.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch expects Bradford to miss the Rams' game against New Orleans. Bradford has not been able to bounce on his toes since suffering a high-ankle sprain. He tested the ankle during a workout Friday, two days before the team played Dallas. Thomas: "When Bradford woke up the next day following that light workout, the ankle was substantially more sore than it had been during the week. It was then that the decision was made not only to scratch Bradford from the lineup against Dallas, but also to put him in a firmer cast as opposed to the walking boot he had been wearing. The cast helped, Bradford said. But with the ankle feeling better than it did Saturday, the cast was taken off Wednesday and Bradford was back in the boot. He began light strengthening exercises on the ankle Wednesday."

Also from Thomas: The Rams signed offensive lineman Mark LeVoir after losing right tackle Jason Smith to head and neck injuries. It's unclear when Smith might return.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says 49ers punter Andy Lee and Browns returner Josh Cribbs are renewing a rivalry that took root in 2007, when Cribbs' long return in the final game of the season prevented Lee from setting an NFL single-season record for net average.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says 49ers receiver Braylon Edwards spoke with coach Jim Harbaugh immediately before addressing his injury situation with reporters. Not that the head coach would want to control the message regarding injuries. Edwards, on whether he experienced swelling in his surgically repaired knee after practicing Tuesday: "No. Not swelling. Just making sure everything is right. When you come off an injury like that, you have to make sure the mental matches the physical. Your physical may be ready but your physical may not be. Or your mental may surpass your physical performance. It's just making sure everything is aligned with the stars so that when I go out there, I'm there for the long haul as opposed to a couple of plays."

Dan Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says Harbaugh's parents will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary one day after their sons' NFL teams face one another on Thanksgiving. Brown: "Jack and Jackie got married in Ohio on the morning of Nov. 25, 1961. To pass the time before the evening reception, the entire wedding party retreated to Jackie's parents' home to watch the Ohio State-Michigan game on television. The next day, the newlyweds spent their honeymoon -- where else? -- at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, where they watched the New York Giants defeat the Browns 37-21."

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com runs through the injury situation for four offensive starters. Also: "Andy Dalton is a player the Seahawks considered drafting, and the rookie quarterback for the Bengals is showing why. He has the highest completion percentage (.624) and passer rating (84.3) of all the first-year QBs in the league who have thrown at least 100 passes -- not to mention a 4-2 record as the starter."

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says Tarvaris Jackson's input will play a role in determining whether the quarterback plays against Cincinnati, according to offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Bevell: "It probably comes down to that at this point. Because the injury is something that there’s really not a lot of background on, and so we have to go by how he feels, and how he feels he can perform. There’s as certain level that you have to be able to meet obviously. And so he’ll have to tell us how close he is to that."

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks cannot take the Bengals for granted.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic checks in with former Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin, who takes a low-keyed approach to facing his former team. Somers: "For me, it's just get back on the field and get a win. Around here, we're all about winning. We're trying to build something, and each week it's the same thing. It's a 16-game schedule. We take it one week at a time."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says first-round draft pick Patrick Peterson has shown improvement and generally played well against the Steelers, but the Cardinals need him to become a star. Urban: "His job was to cover speedy Mike Wallace and he did pretty well. The big play by Wallace, the 95-yard bomb, it was Richard Marshall and not Peterson on Wallace (and, after watching the replay, it looks like Marshall got caught cheating up and thinking about jumping an underneath route — the intended play Ben Roethlisberger talked about afterward — which was too deadly of a start for Marshall to keep up with Wallace). The rest of the day, Wallace didn’t make much of an impact." Noted: Peterson has made his greatest impact as a punt returner. His 89-yarder was the difference in the one game Arizona won this season. He is averaging 15.9 yards per return. The Cardinals averaged 7.0 yards per return last season. That's a nearly 9-yard improvement in field position every time the Cardinals return a punt. Huge difference.