There are plenty of question marks for the St. Louis Rams at the wide receiver spot now that Danny Amendola is out of the picture for the next month or two. Still this could be a real opportunity rather than a detriment for the team to grow and really test their depth at the position. The ball is still going to be in the air occasionally on offense so which receiver is most likely to take advantage of this opening to make a name for himself?
Quarterback Sam Bradford was very realistic when discussing the situation as he said: “Danny going down just opens the door, gives an opportunity to some of our other receivers to step up and make plays. I think Steve Smith is a tremendous inside receiver. I look for him to take advantage of this opportunity. And then the young guys as well. Danny caught a lot of balls, was involved in a lot of our passing game. Those balls, they have to go somewhere. I think whoever steps up, plays at a high level, will start to see their productivity increase.”
While Smith does make the most sense as he is an Amendola-like target, he has been deactivated the last two weeks and has just five catches for 70 yards in the first five games. Rookies Chris Givens and Brian Quick are also possibilities, but Givens is more of a big play threat with two deep grabs for 51 and 52 yards respectively already this year. Quick hasn’t even been able to get in on the action with just one grab for 19 yards so far, but he could be the possession receiver the team needs in Amendola’s absence. Brandon Gibson could also get some additional looks as he has 13 catches for 184 yards and two scores already. Austin Pettis returned in week three after missing two games due to suspension, but he will likely get in the mix as well.
Even though Bradford’s favorite aerial option is on the mend he remains optimistic about his complement of pass catchers saying: “I said this earlier this year; I think this is the deepest we’ve ever been at that position. I think there’s been great competition all year at that position. Those guys have continued to get better from the day the season started. I feel really good about where we are right now.”
Each of these guys will be given the chance to prove Bradford right in the coming weeks as the Rams search for a replacement to Amendola’s productivity. While the likely solution will be a combination of all of these players, Bradford spreading the ball around might be a good thing for everyone’s confidence.
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