Here are several whispers we've been hearing from around the NFC West:
• For reasons that some Niners insiders just don't understand, Mike Singletary continues to start Chilo Rachal, who has struggled on more than one occasion this season, at right guard, ahead of Adam Snyder. "He (Rachal) should not be starting," said one team insider. "With that big, bulky knee brace he wears, he just doesn't look healthy to me."
• It shouldn't be long, we hear, before Cardinals LB Gerald Hayes, who is finally fully recovered from the back ailment that landed him on the physically-unable-to-perform list, regains the starting strong inside linebacker role he has filled the last four years. When Hayes is back starting, look for Paris Lenon to move to the weak inside spot, and rookie Daryl Washington, who has had some problems overpursuing, likely becoming a backup in sub packages.
• Is Rams RB Steven Jackson fully recovered from the groin injury that hindered him through the first third of the 2010 season? "You'd have to ask him," said Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo. "You know how it is during the year. You get injuries. Usually they don't go away totally. You're usually sore. You just kind of play through them, so only he knows whether he's a hundred percent or not."
• We hear the Seahawks couldn't be happier with ex-Niners RB/special-teams star Michael Robinson. "(Assistant special-teams coach and former Niner) Jeff Ulbrich couldn't believe the Seahawks were able to get him," said one team insider. "He's really versatile, and they're using everything he brings to the table."