Wednesday, November 9, 2011
NFC West: Injury situations that matter
By Mike Sando
Arizona: Kevin Kolb's turf-toe injury will either push John Skelton into the lineup or force Kolb to play at less than full strength. The Cardinals appear likely to go with Skelton against Philadelphia unless Kolb can practice at some point during the week. That is because Kolb is new to the Cardinals' offense and wasn't able to practice last week. "It's not like he can just pick it up and go," coach Ken Whisenhunt told reporters. Kolb did not practice Wednesday. Rookie fullback Anthony Sherman continues to miss practice with an ankle injury. Running back Beanie Wells (knee) was limited. The entire starting offensive backfield is hurting, in other words, and that's a significant concern. Tight end Todd Heap's role could increase in his second game back from a hamstring injury.
St. Louis: Quarterback Sam Bradford (ankle), running back Steven Jackson (foot) and emerging safety Darian Stewart (ankle) were among the limited participants in practice Wednesday. Bradford did not practice at all last Wednesday, so his participation this week looks like progress. The Rams remain without starting right tackle Jason Smith (head). They do not seem worse for his absence, but depth on the offensive line is thinner. Depth at linebacker and defensive tackle is running a bit low. Linebacker Bryan Kehl has a high-ankle sprain. Kehl and rookie tight end Lance Kendricks (foot) did not practice.
San Francisco: Frank Gore's injured ankle was the No. 1 concern as the 49ers practiced Wednesday. Gore was in uniform and participating in individual drills, but reports suggested he was favoring the ankle. Still, his participation at all on a Wednesday suggests the injury is something Gore can manage. Defensive end Ray McDonald, sidelined by a hamstring injury last week, also took part in individual drills. Quarterback Alex Smith was fortunate to avoid injury on the big hit he took from Washington's Ryan Kerrigan last week. Consider it a reminder that Smith needs to get rid of the ball more quickly against talented pass-rushers such as Kerrigan and those on the New York Giants awaiting him Sunday.
Seattle: Receiver depth was in flux as the Seahawks practiced Wednesday. Sidney Rice, bothered by shoulder trouble early in the season and foot problems more recently, missed practice with multiple as-yet-undisclosed ailments. Mike Williams practiced despite a foot/ankle injury. Kris Durham went on injured reserve with a torn labrum. Deon Butler came off the physically unable to perform list. Doug Baldwin and Ben Obomanu provide good depth. Coach Pete Carroll was coy on Rice's ailments, but there was no reason to expect Rice to miss the game Sunday. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson continues to play through a pectoral injury that could be affecting his performance on more demanding throws. That's a concern against a Baltimore defense featuring Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata and others.