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Thursday, October 16, 2008
Around the NFC West: Looker has brain condition


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando 

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Dane Looker will continue his Rams career despite a rare brain condition that could increase the likelihood of stroke.

Also from Coats: Rams rookie receiver Keenan Burton is anxious to get back on the field after watching Donnie Avery make big plays against the Redskins.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says newly re-signed cornerback Fakhir Brown was shocked when the team released him last month.

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle quotes 49ers tackle Joe Staley as saying he learned much from "getting beasted" by Michael Strahan last season.

Also from Crumpacker: Takeo Spikes is the first linebacker in 49ers history to pick off a pass in three consecutive games.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says Staley was hoping for a rematch against Strahan, easy to say with Strahan safely in retirement. Another version here.

Also from Maiocco: J.T. O'Sullivan is the NFL's 37th-ranked passer in fourth quarters. Only Tyler Thigpen and Matt Hasselbeck rank lower.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee checks in with Staley while noting David Kirtman's signing to the 53-man roster. Kirtman, the Seattle draft choice, takes the roster spot that opened when Zak Keasey went on injured reserve.

Dan Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says the 49ers are staring at a fourth consecutive defeat, at least on paper.

Also from Brown: That would be Niners coach Mike Nolan on the hot seat.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Edgerrin James and Rod Hood missed the only practice of the bye week for Arizona. Both were excused for personal reasons.

Also from Urban: Sean Morey is one of the few players able to hold a roster spot solely on the strength of his special-teams play.

Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic also looks at the staying power of special-teams contributors. Even high-profile rookies Tim Hightower and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie say they love their roles on special teams.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says the Seahawks' quarterback situation remains as stable as the stock market.

Greg Johns of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer profiles Seahawks tight end John Carlson, a history major with backgrounds in tennis and basketball.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says right tackle Ray Willis split time in practice with Sean Locklear, who struggled against the Packers.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Bucs have a high-priced babysitter -- quarterback Jeff Garcia -- driving troubled tight end Jerramy Stevens to work every day. Stevens and Koren Robinson will be on the same field Sunday.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says Seneca Wallace made it through practice without complications.

Also from Williams: Look for Darryl Tapp to retake his starting job from Lawrence Jackson at right defensive end.