Wednesday, October 24, 2012
NFC West: Injury situations that matter
By Mike Sando
Arizona Cardinals: Quarterback Kevin Kolb (ribs) will miss the game against San Francisco on Monday night. Safety Kerry Rhodes (back), cornerback Greg Toler (hamstring) and guard Adam Snyder (quadriceps) are also dealing with injuries. Rhodes and Toler missed the Minnesota game. Snyder started but did not finish it. Teams playing Monday night file their first formal injury reports Thursday. For that reason, the situations in Arizona and San Francisco are a little cloudier. The Cardinals do expect to have special-teams captains Anthony Sherman (knee) and Reggie Walker (concussion) back from injuries. It's not clear whether tight end Todd Heap will be back this week from the knee injury he suffered at New England in Week 2.
St. Louis Rams: Receiver Danny Amendola returned to practice on a limited basis, but he's not expected back from his chest injury for a few weeks. Left tackles Wayne Hunter (back) and Rodger Saffold (knee) did not practice. Receiver Chris Givens (illness), linebacker Mario Haggan (thigh) and defensive end Eugene Sims (knee) also sat out Wednesday. Backup defensive tackle Matt Conrath (knee) was limited. The Rams have done a very good job getting backup offensive linemen ready to play. They've also been aggressive in trying out out new personnel up front when it gives them a chance -- not a guarantee, but a chance -- to upgrade. Update: The Rams announced Friday that Brandon Gibson, not Givens, was the player missing practice due to illness.
San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers emerged from their Thursday night victory over Seattle knowing Joe Staley's concussion wasn't a factor, after all. Staley and the offensive line played very well. Having additional days off between games should help San Francisco emerge healthier against Arizona. If quarterback Alex Smith's injured factor was to blame for the quarterback's less consistent deep throwing, perhaps the recovery time will help him on that front. Frank Gore is expected to play despite injured ribs. One question, however, is whether his reps will suffer any as a result. The team has yet to play Brandon Jacobs in a game. The depth behind Gore appears strong. Receiver Mario Manningham (shoulder) missed the Seattle game.
Seattle Seahawks: Receiver Doug Baldwin (ankle) has a high sprain suffered Thursday night. He'll probably miss multiple games. That means Charly Martin will reemerge in the offense. Braylon Edwards could get additional snaps as well, particularly if Golden Tate's consistency does not improve. Tate and Martin could get more work from the slot with Baldwin out. That would also open up reps for Edwards on the outside. Cornerback Walter Thurmond is practicing following a lengthy rehab from a broken fibula. The team has through next week to activate Thurmond from the physically unable to perform list. Guard John Moffitt (knee) is also back at practice this week, but it's not clear when he'll return to the rotation on game days. Defensive tackle Jason Jones (ankle) and special-teams linebacker Malcolm Smith (concussion) are expected to play.