Doug Baldwin is back at Seahawks practice after missing the preseason with a knee injury. As expected, Seattle’s top wide receiver plans on returning for Week 1, per the Associated Press. Baldwin may or may not have undergone a procedure for his sore left knee, the soon-to-be 30-year-old pass-catcher not denying an operation of some sort took place. The eighth-year Seahawk also expects to have to deal with knee pain this season, saying he’ll have to manage this issue throughout the year. The Seahawks are counting on Baldwin to reprise his role as Russell Wilson‘s favorite target, but while he was out, newcomers Jaron Brown and Brandon Marshall logged extensive first-team time. But Baldwin remains Seattle’s centerpiece receiver and a key veteran after so many on defense were jettisoned this offseason.
Here’s the latest from the NFC West:
- Sam Shields‘ comeback attempt may clear a key barrier. The former Packers starter is on track to make the Rams‘ 53-man roster, Lindsay Thiry of ESPN.com writes. While he stands to be behind Los Angeles’ top three of Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters and Nickell Robey-Coleman, Shields making it back onto a roster would be a significant development considering how concussion issues nearly ended his career. The 30-year-old defender has not played since Week 1 of the 2016 season.
- Under optimal circumstances, Mike Person may have been third in the running for the 49ers’ right guard job. Jonathan Cooper and Joshua Garnett are ex-first-rounders both are out-earning the 30-year-old UDFA who is attached to a league-minimum contract. But Person is the odds-on favorite to open the season with the starters, Kyle Shanahan said (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area, on Twitter). Despite Cooper’s one-year, $4.95MM contract, Person is competing to hold off Garnett, per Matt Barrows of The Athletic (on Twitter).
- One of the 49ers’ Reuben Foster insurance policies may not make the roster. A 16-game Chargers starter between the 2016 and ’17 seasons, linebacker Korey Toomer is on the bubble going into the 49ers’ final preseason game, Barrows writes (subscription required). Foster’s return induced the 49ers to move Mark Nzeocha to outside ‘backer, where he has a chance to start, and Elijah Lee is also competing for a roster spot. Toomer may make the team’s initial 53-man roster, because of Foster’s two-game suspension, but Barrows notes he’s not a lock to be one of San Francisco’s backups this season.
- Arthur Moats probably won’t be ready for the Cardinals’ regular-season opener because of an MCL issue.