Most NFL teams lament injuries and personnel departures. The really good ones also welcome fresh opportunities for unestablished players to fill the voids.
The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks are far enough along in their roster development to fall into that group. As disappointing as it must have been for the 49ers to lose top receiver Michael Crabtree, the injury created additional opportunities for younger players such as A.J. Jenkins, Quinton Patton and Ricardo Lockette. The 49ers are excited to see how those players perform. Jenkins was a first-round draft choice, after all. Patton was a fourth-rounder. Lockette counts as a project. The 49ers' current leadership and coaching staff acquired each of those three players. They're invested in those players' success.
The St. Louis Rams might have more question marks than any team in the NFC West simply because they have so many young players. In this case, the Rams would much prefer the unknown to the known, which in the past was too frequently a roster filled with players lacking in great potential.
For example, the wide receivers on the Rams' roster have combined for 110 career regular-season receptions. Austin Pettis leads the way with 57. Chris Givens has 42. Brian Quick has 11. None of the other wideouts on the roster has caught even one pass in a real game. And the Rams haven't been more excited about their prospects at the position in a long time.
So, when we see the glass half empty at some positions, that is fair. We should just remember that the teams might see something different entirely. I raised that point among others during a conversation with ESPN's John Clayton on 710ESPN Seattle. Thanks to producer Liz Mathews for posting the audio.