Wednesday, October 17, 2012
NFC West: Injury situations that matter
By Mike Sando
Arizona Cardinals: Quarterback Kevin Kolb (ribs) will miss the game at Minnesota, giving John Skelton his first start since the season opener. I've broken down their statistical similarities and differences since Week 12 last season in case you're interested in taking a look. Fullback Anthony Sherman (knee), cornerback Greg Toler (hamstring) and safety Kerry Rhodes (back) were among those not practicing. Sherman's injury forced Reagan Maui'a into the game against Buffalo. A penalty Maui'a committed for spiking the ball following a reception came at a crucial time. Rhodes left the Buffalo game with back spasms. He has played very well at times and would be missed. Darnell Dockett continues to play through a hamstring injury. That could limit his endurance. Tight end Todd Heap (knee) hasn't played since the New England game. He was limited in practice.
St. Louis Rams: Receiver Danny Amendola remains out indefinitely, putting pressure on other receivers to make up the difference in the middle of the field and in the red zone. Those are areas where the team hasn't performed consistently enough of late. The Rams remain without left tackle Rodger Saffold (knee). Wayne Hunter has played better than anticipated in relief. Saffold was expected to miss at least a month when injured one month ago. He missed practice Wednesday. The team also practiced without Hunter (back), cornerback Janoris Jenkins (back) and linebacker Mario Haggan (thigh). Jenkins and Hunter are expected to start against Green Bay. Running back Steven Jackson is no longer on the injury report after working through a groin injury. Rookie Daryl Richardson will continue to get carries on merit, it appears.
San Francisco 49ers: The team listed receiver Mario Manningham (shoulder) and left tackle Joe Staley (concussion) as limited in practice Wednesday. The short week complicates their situations. Staley can play Thursday night if a neurologist clears him. If Staley sits out, right guard Alex Boone will move to left tackle. Veteran Leonard Davis would presumably fill in at right guard. He did against Buffalo. Running back Brandon Jacobs (knee) was also listed as limited, but health doesn't appear to be the primary reason for his continued inactivity on game days. The team has good depth at the position. The other backups behind Frank Gore contribute on special teams. Jacobs is looking like an insurance policy. Two years ago, the team lost Gore for the final five games. Quarterback Alex Smith's finger injury is not expected to limit him.
Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks appear healthier than they've generally been in recent seasons. They're the only team in the division yet to list a quarterback on the injury report. Strong safety Kam Chancellor has been cleared to play despite an ankle injury, coach Pete Carroll told reporters Wednesday. Clinton McDonald, a contributor in the nickel defensive line this season, is expected to return. Seattle will be without former starting guard John Moffitt.