Wednesday, November 7, 2012
NFC West: Injury situations that matter
By Mike Sando
Arizona Cardinals: Running back Beanie Wells is practicing for the first time since suffering a turf-toe injury and landing on the injured-reserve list with a designation for return. He expects to play Nov. 25, in which case Wells would miss one more game. Arizona has a bye in Week 10, followed by a game at Atlanta. Tight end Todd Heap's knee injury is in the news this week amid suggestions that the Cardinals think he should have returned long ago. Quarterback Kevin Kolb did some limited throwing this week, but he's not yet ready to return from injured ribs. The Cardinals do not have to submit an injury report this week. They'll be healthier upon returning from the bye, at least.
St. Louis Rams: Left tackle Rodger Saffold (knee) and receiver Danny Amendola (shoulder) remain on course to return against San Francisco in Week 10. Both were limited in practice, as were backup left tackle Wayne Hunter (back) and linebacker Mario Haggan (thigh). Center Scott Wells (foot) is practicing on a limited basis, opening a three-week window for activation. The Rams signed Wells to a lucrative contract in free agency with the expectation Wells would take pressure off quarterback Sam Bradford by handling more of the protection calls. The center-quarterback relationship was supposed to help Bradford. Instead, the Rams head to San Francisco with backups at center and left guard. Saffold figures to be rusty if he plays. The 49ers' Aldon Smith and Justin Smith won't let him ease back into things. Safety Darian Stewart (knee), defensive end Eugene Sims (knee) and linebacker Justin Cole (illness) did not practice.
San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers were healthy going into the bye. They are healthier coming out of it. The team had not yet released injury-related information following practice Wednesday as this item posted. Quarterback Alex Smith's finger was obviously healed going into the bye. He completed 18 of 19 passes against Arizona after struggling some over the previous two games. The week off had to help running back Frank Gore as well. He suffered a rib injury against Seattle in Week 7. Update: The 49ers listed linebacker Tavares Gooden (elbow), Gore (hand), guard Daniel Kilgore (concussion), punter Andy Lee (hand), receiver Mario Manningham (shoulder), Smith (finger) and defensive lineman Will Tukuafu (wrist) as participating fully in practice.
Seattle Seahawks: Guard James Carpenter (concussion), receiver Braylon Edwards (knee), running back Marshawn Lynch (back/wrist), defensive end Red Bryant (foot), linebacker K.J. Wright (concussion), defensive lineman Clinton McDonald (groin) and safety Kam Chancellor (quadriceps) did not practice Wednesday. Defensive tackle Jason Jones (ankle) was limited. Receiver Doug Baldwin (ankle), guard John Moffitt (knee) and center Max Unger (finger) were full participants. Seattle is a little more beat-up than it has been to this point in the season. Having a bye in Week 11 should help the team recharge for a stretch run. Jones hasn't played since Week 7. Seattle's nickel pass rush has missed him. The fact that he is practicing, even on a limited basis, should be encouraging for the Seahawks. Having Baldwin back allowed Seattle to release receiver Charly Martin and re-sign him to its practice squad. The Seahawks have activated cornerback Walter Thurmond from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. He helps with depth and gives the team another option in the nickel role, possibly affecting Marcus Trufant.