NFC Notes: Cardinals, 49ers, Rams



Cardinals GM Steve Keim, HC Kliff Kingsbury, and DC Vance Joseph opened up about the playing time of LB Isaiah Simmons, especially now that OLB Chandler Jones suffered a severe injury Sunday.

“I think the more he plays, the better it’s going to get,” said Keim, via Mason Kern of SI. “Again, different offenses dictate what we do schematically on defense. He’s going to have his opportunities and, again, I think he’s got a bright future. I think we’re fortunate enough to limit some of his snaps to some degree, but the only way he’s going to get better is to get out there and see things. As I said a few weeks ago, love his attitude, he works his tail off. He’s in studying film with (linebackers coach) Billy Davis and Vance Joseph. I feel like his future is certainly bright. His athleticism and all those sorts of things that come with the skill set, to me, are tremendous. And I think that he’s a guy that will continue just to grow throughout this season. You can’t coach his skill set. But he can improve upon the little things. Whether it’s his eyes, anticipation, angles, and understanding of the game in general. It’s a big-boy league. We know that. They get paid too. And the biggest thing that comes away from it that I think is so good about the experience is he stepped on the field in high school and he was the best player on the field. He went to Clemson and he was the best athlete on the field at Clemson University. Well, now he’s not the best. He’s one of the best athletes, but he’s got to become the best football player. And the only way you can learn is to grow from mistakes.”

“He’s covering tight ends well, he’s setting edges well as an outside ‘backer-type player for us,” Joseph said of Simmons. “In his other roles, he’s getting better. He just needs more time on the job and it’s more reps at playing NFL football at those spots that he’s playing. It’s a different deal than he played at Clemson. He is close to the ball right now, he’s playing against bigger men and he’s covering bigger tight ends. He’s getting better and better every single week he’s out there and hopefully, he can continue to get better and he can get more time.”

De’Vondre Campbell and Jordan Hicks are great guys for Isaiah to learn behind and figure things out as he builds, not having an offseason, but can learn throughout the season,” Kingsbury added. “We feel like it’s really going to help him as well.”


  • The Athletic’s Matt Barrows writes that he thinks the 49ers would trade G Tom Compton for “half a hot dog bun.” He adds he would have to think WR Dante Pettis is available and CB Ahkello Witherspoon would be, too, if San Francisco had more depth at corner right now. 
  • 49ers’ HC Kyle Shanahan said QB Jimmy Garoppolo is hoping to make his return on Sunday Night Football against the Los Angeles Rams. (Matt Maiocco)
  • Shanahan added more about Garoppolo saying: “There was nothing that we saw in practice that would have kept him out. If the game was going a little bit differently, I would have kept him that game also. It wasn’t that his ankle was hurting too bad to where he couldn’t function and play. But it was definitely prohibiting him. You could tell (by) how he was throwing, just mechanically, doing it a little bit different than he normally does.” (Matt Barrows)
  • Shanahan mentioned that LB Kwon Alexander may be dealing with a high-ankle sprain which will be further evaluated on Wednesday and that LB Dre Greenlaw will fill in if Alexander is unable to play on Sunday night. (Barrows
  • Shanahan planned for CB Richard Sherman to practice this week, but that won’t happen due to setbacks with his calf injury. (Barrows)
  • Sherman doesn’t need surgery, but Shanahan says there are certain shots he can receive in order to treat the inflammation that is plaguing him. (Nick Wagoner)


  • Rams’ HC Sean McVay says S Jordan Fuller re-injured his previously injured shoulder and that LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo suffered an elbow strain.
  • They hope to have LB Micah Kiser return in a limited capacity in practice this week, and will have more information on all three players after they are evaluated on Wednesday. (Lindsey Thiry)
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