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NFC West: Injury situations that matter

Arizona: The Cardinals might be wise to shake up their rotation at tight end while starter Ben Patrick deals with a concussion. Patrick has not yet been cleared to play. Having him healthy for the playoffs should be a priority. Former starter Stephen Spach has been inactive in recent weeks. This might be a good opportunity for him to get work before the postseason. Special-teamer Sean Morey also suffered a concussion, his second of the season. That has to be a serious concern given his concussion history. Arizona could get outside linebacker Will Davis back from injury, a boost to depth at a position where the Cardinals need more.

St. Louis: Rookie Keith Null took about 70 percent of the snaps in practice Wednesday, leaving 30 percent for Kyle Boller -- an early indication Null might be the favorite to start against Arizona. The Rams could be without defensive end Leonard Little (knee). Right tackle Jason Smith (concussion) almost certainly will not play. And while running back Steven Jackson will probably battle through his herniated disk once again, the grind could be catching up with him. Jackson has 121 yards in his past two games after rushing for 105.9 per game over his previous 11.

Seattle: Injuries have caught up to rookie linebacker Aaron Curry, who probably will not play. That means two of the top four players drafted in 2009 -- both by NFC West teams -- might not get a chance to build momentum late in the season. The Seahawks also expect to be without starting receiver Nate Burleson, while starting halfback Julius Jones remains day-to-day. Matt Hasselbeck will tough it out, again, but cumulative injuries, including one to his throwing shoulder, continue to affect his performance.

San Francisco: The 49ers are relatively healthy. A hamstring injury will sideline kicker Joe Nedney. Cornerback Nate Clements could miss another week, or the remainder of the season. Overall, though, the 49ers seem to be holding up. Coach Mike Singletary might have been right when he said a physical training camp would make the team tougher for the long haul. At the very least, the approach did not lead to massive injury problems by NFL standards.