The Cardinals injury report shows that back-up nose tackles Alan Branch (ankle) and Gabe Watson (knee) did not practice today, raising some questions about the interior of the Arizona defense Sunday in San Francisco. Beat writer Kent Somers has more details in his blog. Center Al Johnson (knee) did not take part in Wednesday's practice, either. Tight end Ben Patrick (ankle) was limited while tackle Mike Gandy (knee) went through the full practice.
For the 49ers, nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin (knee) and linebacker Parys Haralson (shoulder) went through a full practice. Look for both to be listed as "probable" tomorrow.
Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about possibly altering the preseason schedule today by Chris Myers today on FOX Sports radio. Said Goodell:
"Well I've been on the record that I don't think the preseason games as they stand right now meet the NFL standard of entertainment and I think it is becoming quite clear in the conversations that we don't need four preseason games, so we're looking at what we call the 20 game season which is 4 preseason, 16 regular season games, and trying to see whether that should be restructured, should that be modified, and maybe add 2 regular season games instead of the 4 preseason and have it 18 [regular season games] and 2 [preseason games] or a 17 and 3 which we think both would be much more attractive and improve the quality of the remaining preseason games and obviously give us better and higher quality product in the regular season."
I couldn't agree more. Sure, Friday's season finale against San Diego had a riveting finish. But of the defensive players who made that final, valiant (and ultimately flawed) stand, how many made the team? Three? Four? The fourth game of the preseason was so useless to the 49ers that they sat a quarterback, J.T. O'Sullivan, who would be making his first-ever regular season start nine days later. Half of the Chargers first-string offense did not play, either. If people are paying regular-season prices, they ought to be seeing regular-season football....
-- Matt Barrows