Wednesday, September 19, 2012
NFC West: Injury situations that matter
By Mike Sando
Arizona Cardinals: Kevin Kolb is on track to start at quarterback against his former team, Philadelphia, after Week 1 starter John Skelton missed practice Wednesday with the ankle injury he suffered in the opener. Tight end Todd Heap missed practice with the knee injury he suffered against New England on Sunday. Heap, 32, missed six games last season and three the season before that. He was playing well and would be missed, but the Cardinals have options in Jeff King and Rob Housler. A sore knee continues to limit outside linebacker O'Brien Schofield. Backup Quentin Groves has made a push for additional playing time at the position. Running back Beanie Wells continues to practice despite the hamstring issue that bothered him heading into the opener. Ryan Williams (knee) took limited reps Wednesday. Arizona hasn't gotten its ground game going against two strong run defenses.
St. Louis Rams: Steven Jackson missed practice with the groin injury he suffered against Washington. Soft-tissue injuries have been a problem for Jackson over the years. He has now suffered one during a long run in each of the Rams' past two home openers. Rookie Daryl Richardson has run well in relief except for when he fumbled Sunday, but Jackson sets the tone in the running game when healthy. The Rams have serious injury concerns at offensive tackle. Starter Rodger Saffold will miss at least a month after suffering a knee injury Sunday. An ankle injury kept his replacement, Wayne Hunter, from practicing Wednesday. The team also placed rookie guard Rokevious Watkins on injured reserve. Starting center Scott Wells remains out until midseason.
San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers welcomed back receiver and return specialist Ted Ginn Jr. from an ankle injury, but it's not clear if Ginn will be available against Minnesota on Sunday. The 49ers have been functioning well enough without him. Running back Brandon Jacobs (knee) remains sidelined. Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter appear fresh and have been productive. There's no reason to rush back Jacobs at this point, in my view. Depth at outside linebacker has been a bit of a concern since former starter Parys Haralson landed on injured reserve. The team brought back Eric Bakhtiari for depth at the position after losing Haralson's replacement, Clark Haggans, to a three-game suspension. Bakhtiari was with the 49ers in camp, so he knows the defense.
Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks hope to have left tackle Russell Okung back from a bruised knee to face Clay Matthews and the Green Bay defense on Monday night. Frank Omiyale started in Okung's place Sunday and did what coach Pete Carroll called a "credible" job. For Seattle, playing one day later than usual has affected the practice schedule. Players are off Wednesday. They'll resume practicing Thursday. Seattle will not issue an injury report until then. Carroll did tell reporters earlier in the week that receiver Sidney Rice was healthy. Rice had left the team's game against Dallas after absorbing a hard hit. He missed some practice time last week with a sore knee.