Here are several of the latest whispers we've been hearing from around the NFC West:
• We hear the Cardinals are more than willing to forgive WR Stephen Williams for making a few obvious rookie mistakes early in the season after looking like God's gift in training camp. "They still think he's a really talented kid who is going to end up making a lot more plays than mistakes before his career is over," said one team insider of the undrafted rookie. "I don't know if he's the next Marques Colston, but they really do think he's going to be a good receiver."
• Now that Seahawks first-round OLT Russell Okung has begun practicing again, we hear it could still be awhile before his ankle is fully healed. Our best guess for his return to the starting lineup is Oct. 18 at Chicago — one week after Seattle's bye.
• The Niners are singing the praises of sixth-round rookie TE Nate Byham. "He's going to gain more playing time, simply because he's the guy that allows you more flexibility," Niners head coach Mike Singletary said of the team's 2010 third-round draft pick. "He can play tight end; he can line up in the backfield. I mean there are a number of things that he can do."
• The word from our Rams sources on injured Rams TE Billy Bajema, who was expected to miss anywhere from 2-4 weeks after suffering knee ligament damage in Week Two, is that "four weeks" seems like a much more realistic recovery time. As for Rams WR Laurent Robinson, daily observers tell us he wasn't moving around nearly as well this year even before suffering a nagging foot injury that is unrelated to his season-ending leg injury last season.