The St. Louis Rams may still be trying to recover from their latest three-game losing streak after a hot start out of the gate, but that recovery will get much easier with wideout Danny Amendola back in the fold. After a scary shoulder injury just three short weeks ago, the team’s top receiving option is set to return to the field this Sunday when the Rams take on the San Francisco 49ers.
What happened to Amendola was frightening to say the least. “I thought the worst,” Amendola said, “Obviously, I was pretty upset. Luckily it wasn’t as bad as we thought, and I’m going to be able to get back out there sooner than I expected.” A separated AC joint in his shoulder which popped inward rather than outward actually threatened his life. That makes his return to the field just three weeks removed from that scary injury all the more impressive.
Since he has been removed from the Rams’ offense, the team as a whole has struggled mightily failing to win a single game in Amendola’s absence. For a team that had to play without their top receiver for all of the 2011 due to a dislocated elbow, this feeling has been all too familiar. Thankfully younger players have begun to step up at the receiver position and now in complementary roles, they may be able to thrive even more.
Rookie Chris Givens has provided a much needed deep threat to the Rams passing game which takes the top off of defenses and forces safeties to stay back and cover over the top routes. This opens up holes in the running game and will clear some real estate for Amendola to maneuver in underneath where his bread is buttered.
Brandon Gibson has also produced minus Amendola making some sensational grabs along the sideline and providing quarterback Sam Bradford with a much needed bailout receiver at times. His 15 catches for nearly 200 yards over the past three weeks have been very important in his growth and should carryover now that Amendola makes his return.
There’s no doubt that Rams are a better team with Amendola on the field, but his brief hiatus has forced other players to develop in his absence. That will help the squad in the long run and give the club more options in the passing game moving forward. Look for Amendola to command immediate attention from opposing defenses which could only further accelerate the development of these young receivers and help the Rams offense to produce in the coming weeks.
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