NFC West Notes: Mathieu, Rams, 49ers, Lynch

Tyrann Mathieu‘s season-ending ACL tear did come with some positive news. Bruce Arians informed media the standout defender’s tear is “clean,” unlike the ACL and LCL tear the Cardinals‘ third-year dynamo suffered in Dec. 2013,’s Chris Wesseling reports.

Arians hopes Mathieu will be ready for OTAs, as Carson Palmer was following his late-season tear in 2014.

The former LSU star boasted a brace on his right knee and was instructing Arizona defensive backs on the practice field Wednesday.

Here is some more from the NFC West.

  • Rams starters Robert Quinn and T.J. McDonald went on injured reserve just before Mathieu, and both St. Louis defenders underwent successful surgeries this week, Joe Lyons of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Both Quinn (back) and McDonald (shoulder) should be back for OTAs in April, Lyons adds. “From a timing standpoint, we needed to do it, just so we could get (McDonald) in the offseason program. Both of them will be fine early in the offseason,” Jeff Fisher told media, including Lyons.
  • Although Fisher noted Stedman Bailey‘s injuries were severe enough to end his NFL career, the third-year Rams wideout returned home from the hospital a month after suffering multiple gunshot wounds to the head, Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk reports.
  • Marshawn Lynch will return to an altered Seahawks offense now that Russell Wilson‘s taken his game to a higher level. A faster Seahawks tempo will be an adjustment for the Pro Bowl running back, offensive line coach Tom Cable told media (including Pro Football Talk’s Curtis Crabtree). “We’re counting on him to get healthy whenever that is and then once that happens, it’s for him to come back in and be able to adapt to this football team and the way it acts and the way it’s moving right now collectively,” Cable said. “That will be his challenge, but right now his number one thing is getting healthy.” Pete Carroll remains iffy on when the 29-year-old bruiser will return, noting there’s “a chance” he’s back by the time Seattle plays its wild card game in just more than two weeks. PFT’s Mike Florio continues to opine that Lynch, due to occupy an $11.5MM cap number in 2016, will not be back with the Seahawks next season.
  • 49ers GM Trent Baalke has been out on the practice field instructing defenders, Matt Maiocco of writes, despite his only coaching experience coming as the defensive line/strength and conditioning coach at South Dakota in the early 1990s. Although it’s unlikely 49ers defensive coordinator Eric Mangini would tell one of his bosses to step off here, the former Jets head coach said Baalke hasn’t been shy about helping out on the field. “I haven’t been everywhere, but there are some GMs who might not be as present and maybe that works for their style,” Mangini told media. “For these guys it’s a little bit different and Trent has always been on the field at different points.”
  • The 49ers’ No. 1 need going into 2016 will be on their offensive front, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee writes. Although Barrows offers recently retired right tackle Anthony Davis could well return for his age-26 season, the Northern California scribe obviously notes the team cannot count on him. Both starting guards, Alex Boone and Andrew Tiller, are due to be free agents.
  • Jarryd Hayne remains in the 49ers’ plans going forward despite being passed over for a late-season promotion onto the active roster, 49ers OC Geep Chryst told media (including Maiocco). The former rugby star not being as likely to be active on game day as newly signed DuJuan Harris led to the 49ers leaving Hayne on the practice squad.


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