St. Louis Rams wide receiver Donnie Avery is back on the practice field today. Avery spent most of his time in camp so far on the sidelines with knee issues. He missed the Rams' first preseason game, and has practiced only a little at the start of camp.
Why is this important? Why does this simple fact alone merit its own post?
Avery is one of a dozen receivers vying for a half as many spots on the final roster. After a productive rookie season and a second year featuring three terrible quarterbacks, Avery missed all of last year. He came to the team as a second-round pick in 2008, when the old regime was calling the shots still. A connection to the former coaches and past systems usually doesn't help a player on the bubble. He needed last year to prove that he had a role as top receiver in the NFL. Training camp this year is his last chance to catch on with the Rams.
Keep an eye on Avery's status. If he can suit up for the game this Saturday, he'll be a player to watch.