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Around the NFC West: Depleted Rams

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams' already shaky depth is depleted. Coach Steve Spagnuolo: "Yeah, slowly but surely. Anybody have any eligibility left? We're pretty banged up. The list is long. But it just gives another guy an opportunity. I know it sounds like a cliché, but it does. It gave some guys an opportunity [against Houston]. And that'll happen again this Sunday."

Also from Thomas: The Rams have claimed defensive end James Wyche off waivers from the Jaguars.

More from Thomas: The Rams placed tight end Daniel Fells on injured reserve. Meanwhile, the team still wasn't saying which player would start at quarterback Sunday.

Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams would be best served staying in position to hold the No. 1 overall draft choice. Burwell: "With only two weeks to play in the regular season, the Rams have, without tampering with the integrity of the game, moved one step closer to locking down the all-important first pick in the draft (let it roll off your tongue easily: N-dom-Ah-ken Suh ... N-dom-Ah-ken Suh ... N-dom-Ah-ken Suh), and that is a very good thing."

Jim Rodenbush of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat says the Rams do not have a timetable for Leonard Little's return from injury.

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says Spagnuolo isn't interested in losing just to maintain the No. 1 draft choice.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says snapper Kevin Houser remained hospitalized with a collapsed lung. Veteran Jeff Robinson will replace Houser.

Jose Miguel Romero of the Seattle Times says Seahawks coach Jim Mora lobbied for Mike Holmgren's return to the team. Mora: "It's no secret that I'm a Mike Holmgren fan, and I was an advocate of him coming back, to the point that I made my feelings known to the people that make those decisions," Mora said. "I'm probably as disappointed as anybody that he's decided to reject our offer and go onward. I don't know all the particulars. I just know that I absolutely have great regard for Mike Holmgren."

Greg Johns of seattlepi.com says Mora e-mailed Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke on Friday, expressing support for Holmgren.

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says Holmgren never contacted Mora during the process. Mora: "That's not Mike's style."

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks should probably give Mora another season to prove himself. Boling: "I think Mora -- heck, anybody -- deserves a shot at a second season. But whomever is hired to make that decision might have an entirely different perspective, especially if the nosedive grows even steeper."

Matt Pitman of 710ESPN Seattle points to Steve Keim and Eric DeCosta as preferred candidates to lead the Seahawks' football operation. Pitman: "DeCosta also is a guy who understands the importance of using the draft to land long-term solutions on the offensive line, something the Seahawks must address in the upcoming draft. He found center Jason Brown, a three year starter in Baltimore, in the fifth round. Guard Ben Grubbs, one of the best in the AFC, was a late 1st round selection (29th pick). He found tackle Jared Gaither in the supplemental round of the '07 draft. But the thing I like about him most is that he's not a 'defensive guy' (which we heard about Tim Ruskell and uh, how'd that work out) or an 'offensive guy.' DeCosta's resume shows he is a guy that has an uncanny eye for talent throughout a draft, and can put together moves and trades to immediately improve his football team the very next season with solid drafting."

Dave Wyman of 710ESPN Seattle says fixing the Seahawks will take much more than Holmgren or any one person could accomplish. Wyman: "It's never one guy or one thing that makes a team bad or makes a team good. As brilliant as Mike Holmgren is, he's not the panacea for all of this team's ills. As talented as Jake Locker is, he's not necessarily the answer either. It's never one guy and it's never one move. It's a team game. Something that big money contracts and fantasy football has taken us away from. We don't need a 'football czar' to make this team all better. We don't need a 1st round superstar quarterback to make this offense work. There is no football genius out there that's going to make the perfect personnel moves and the perfect play calls. We need an organization and a team and yes even a fan base that is willing to work hard, work together, be patient and be positive."

John Morgan of Field Gulls looks at Keim's record in Arizona. I would not blame him for the team's selection of Levi Brown. The coaching staff wanted a tackle. I'm pretty sure the scouts would have preferred Adrian Peterson.

Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals could get Will Davis back from injury this week. They need depth at linebacker.

Also from McManaman: The Cardinals still have a shot at a higher playoff seed. Whisenhunt: "The No. 2 seed is obviously a powerful incentive, to be able to get that bye week. Who knows what can happen? There are a lot of things that would have to fall into place. I think it's more important that we continue to try and improve and get on a hot streak going into the playoffs."

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Mike Gandy's future with the Cardinals is in doubt. That was the case even before Gandy required hernia surgery. Somers: "Gandy is in the last year of his contract and is making $5 million. If he goes on IR, as expected, he'll be the first starter placed there in the last two years. There's a good chance Gandy has played his last game with the club. It's questionable if the Cardinals will pay him close to that on a new contract. I suppose Levi Brown could move from the right side to the left, but it's hard to say that Brown has proven he could make that move look seamless."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Whisenhunt isn't concerned about the Cardinals' passing game. Whisenhunt: "We have to continue to get better and get polished up. Sometimes it’s not as easy as you want it to be."

Revenge of the Birds' Andrew602 looks at key performances from the Cardinals' victory at Detroit.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers are not discouraging rumors linking them to a London game in 2010. Team president Jed York: "I would certainly think we're a candidate just with being in an older stadium. We haven't been approached and it's not something we're seeking out."

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers need to stay the course in the name of continuity. Maiocco: "A lot of people want to see changes. They want to see heads roll when a club fails to meet their own expectations. But I think the best thing the 49ers can do is maintain continuity. And that includes quarterback. Do I think Alex Smith is an above-average NFL starting quarterback? Right now, I'd say he's not. But I do believe he is their best option for 2010. I think Smith will continue to improve every season for a while, as long as he remains in an unchanged system. He has improved every season that did not include a trip to injured reserve."

Also from Maiocco: He does not expect big changes.

Howard Mintz of the San Jose Mercury News wonders what would happen if voters rejected the 49ers' stadium proposal for Santa Clara.

Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle says 49ers coach Mike Singletary apologized to Smith for challenging the quarterback on some throws. Upon reflection, Smith was better than Singletary thought Sunday.