NFC West Links: 49ers, Cooper, Bailey

The 49ers‘ running back depth took a hit this week when Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James both suffered injuries. As the team tries to keep starter Frank Gore fresh and healthy for the regular season, some other players have had a chance to shine. Rookie Carlos Hyde has particularly taken advantage of the opportunity and has drawn praise from the entire coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman remarked on the second-round pick’s ability to pick up instruction (via Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee)…

I guess, you know, somebody that’s seven-years-old playing the piano and you kind of show them, they hear it, and then they start playing the piano,” Roman said. “It’s one of those things that if you can explain it to him, once it clicks with him – and that’s happened repeatedly on a lot of different things – he just makes that adjustment, and we keep moving.”

Coach Jim Harbaugh even went as far as to compare the rookie to the veteran he’s hoping to back up.

Carlos gets football, understands football; it’s natural for him to understand the game, similar to Frank Gore,” Harbaugh said. “And we’re seeing those things, and both are very good signs and bode well for us.”

Let’s check out some more notes from the NFC West…
  • 49ers defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey tore his bicep earlier today, and’s Bill Williamson tweets that Isaac Sopoaga could be an option to replace him. The 32-year-old split 2013 between the Eagles and the Patriots.
  • Cardinals guard Jonathan Cooper missed all of 2013 recovering from a broken fibula. The team was counting on their former first-rounder to contribute this season, but coach Bruce Arians doesn’t sound overly optimistic. I’m a little disappointed with where Coop is at right now,” Arians told Darren Urban of“I’d hope he come a little faster.” To perhaps make a bit of a statement, the team played Earl Watford with the first team during practice (via a tweet from’s Josh Weinfuss).
  • Even with his impending four-game suspension, Rams receiver Stedman Bailey has been impressive at camp, writes Mike Florio of This is leaving many, including coach Jeff Fisher, confident that the second-year player will make a big impact once he returns. He’s there,” Fisher said. “He knows how to get open, and knows how to make the plays. Yes, we’ll miss him, but he’s going to push right through camp and we’ll get through his ordeal and we’ll get him right back in the lineup.”
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