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Know Your Enemy: NFC West Update on 49ers, Cardinals, Rams - Week 1

Posted Sep 2, 2014

A team-by-team look at the latest happenings from the Seahawks' closest rivals around the NFC West.

The Seahawks.com digital media staff is well aware of your favorite club's regular-season opening matchup against the defending NFC North champion Green Bay Packers. That game, set for Thursday, Sept. 4 at Seattle's CenturyLink Field, is now a mere two days away.

But following this past weekend's NFL-mandated roster cut-downs to 53 players, we thought it would be a good idea to catch up on what's new with a few of Seattle's closest rivals.

In the first installment of what will become a weekly feature to run through the 2014 season, take a look at what the Seahawks' NFC West foes have been up to as they ready for Week 1 of the regular season:

Arizona Cardinals (1-3 preseason)

What's Happened

After an impressive outing to open exhibition play, the club dropped three consecutive games to close the preseason, finishing 1-3 against the Houston Texans (W, 32-0), Minnesota Vikings (L, 30-20), Cincinnati Bengals (L, 19-13), and San Diego Chargers (L, 12-9) ... Veteran defensive tackle and emotional leader Darnell Dockett was placed on season-ending injured reserve after suffering a torn ACL in practice two weeks ago ... Free safety Tyrann Mathieu came off the team's Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, returning from the ACL and LCL tears he suffered in his left knee last December, but Mathieu didn't play in the team's preseason finale against the Chargers, which according to head coach Bruce Arians will keep him out of the starting lineup in Week 1 ... Cornerback Patrick Peterson signed a monster contract extension this offseason that is set to keep him in Arizona through the 2020 season, but his opponents won't have to worry about him returning punts or playing offense any time soon, with Peterson turning his focus entirely to the defensive side of the football.

Worth Noting

Formidable inside linebacker Daryl Washington, who recorded 75 tackles, 3.0 sacks, two interceptions, and 11 passes defensed a season ago, has been suspended for at least a year for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Worth A Look

The team's current roster, and this:

What's Next

The Cardinals open their 2014 slate at home on Monday Night Football against the San Diego Chargers - the same opponent they closed the preseason with in a 12-9 loss at Qualcomm Stadium. Arizona has the second of two Monday night games on Sept. 8 (the New York Giants and Detroit Lions have the first), with kickoff set for 7:20 p.m. PT on ESPN.

San Francisco 49ers (2-2 preseason)

What's Happened

The Niners bounced back from a pair of lopsided losses to finish out the preseason at the .500 mark, going 2-2 against the Baltimore Ravens (L, 23-3), Denver Broncos (L, 34-0), San Diego Chargers (W, 21-7), and Houston Texans (W, 40-13) ... Right guard Alex Boone, who has started every game for the Niners the past two seasons, ended his prolonged holdout Monday by reporting to camp in Santa Clara, Calif. ... All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who tore his ACL in this past January's NFC Championship against the Seahawks, was placed on the team's PUP list to begin the season, meaning he'll miss at least the first six games of the year.

Worth Noting

Effective edge-rusher Aldon Smith has been suspended for the 49ers' first nine games of the year for violating the League's policy and program for substances of abuse and the NFL's personal conduct policy. Smith, who has recorded 42.0 sacks through three seasons, is eligible to return for the team's Week 11 game against the New York Giants. So yes, that means Smith will be available for San Francisco's two games against the Seahawks (Weeks 13 & 15).

Worth A Look

The team's current roster, and this:

What's Next

The 49ers visit the Dallas Cowboys to open the regular season on Sunday, Sept. 7 at AT&T Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1:25 p.m. PT on FOX.

St. Louis Rams (1-3 preseason)

What's Happened

St. Louis earned their lone exhibition victory in the preseason's third week, finishing out their games-that-don't-count schedule with a 1-3 record in games against the New Orleans Saints (L, 26-24), Green Bay Packers (L, 21-7), Cleveland Browns (W, 33-14), and Miami Dolphins (L, 14-13) ... Shaun Hill will take the reigns at starting quarterback in 2014 after incumbent starter Sam Bradford - the No. 1 overall selection in the 2010 NFL Draft - was sent to season-ending injured reserve after suffering a torn ACL in the team's third preseason game ... Second-year wide receiver Stedman Bailey, chosen in the third round of last year's draft by St. Louis, has been suspended for the first four games of the year for violating the League's policy on performance-enhancing substances ... Defensive end Michael Sam, the first openly gay NFL player who was selected by the Rams in the seventh round of the 2014 draft, was released from the squad on the team's roster cut-down to 53 players ... Following Saturday's League-wide roster cut-downs, the Rams carry the NFL's youngest team for the third consecutive season.

Worth Noting

With Bradford out for the year, Case Keenum was claimed off waivers from the Houston Texans to add depth to the quarterback position. Keenum holds regular-season game experience to his name - something Rams backup quarterback Austin Davis lacks. The third-year pro Keenum started eight games for the Texans last year, completing 54.2 percent of his passes for 1,760 yards, nine touchdowns, and six interceptions.

Worth A Look

The team's current roster, and this:

What's Next

The Rams host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Sept. 7 from St. Louis' Edward Jones Dome. The game kicks off at 10 a.m. PT on FOX.