The NFL trade deadline is now less than a week away. As it usually is in the NFL, things have been quiet. The St. Louis Rams were mentioned in a couple of early rumors, interested in Dwayne Bowe and considering shipping Steven Jackson out of town. The rumor mill will likely heat up again before next Tuesday.
Dwayne Bowe rumors excited more than a few fans, dangling the possibility of more established NFL receiver that might finally fill a need for the Rams. Wednesday's injury report brought some news that might be just what the Rams were hoping for, something almost as good as adding a receiver with the sight of Danny Amendola catching passes at practice. He's officially listed as limited.
Over the last four games the Rams have had another positive development on the receiver front, the emergence of Chris Givens. The rookie wide receiver has four straight game in which he has a play of 50 yards or more. That's more 50-yard passing plays than the Rams have had in four years.
Last week against the Packers, Givens was targeted five times, catching three of them. He was not the most targeted receiver. Both Brandon Gibson and Lance Kendricks saw their looks upped as replacements for Amendola over the middle.
Whether Amendola returns this week or not remains to be seen, but he is obviously close. Once he comes back, assuming he picks up where he left off, the Rams offense could finally have a little more diversity to it now that Givens is starting to click.
Does the combination of Amendola and Givens, who is clearly becoming the No. 2 guy, give the Rams all they need? No. The Rams still need to consider their options in next year's draft or free agent market. Brian Quick may be that guy, but he needs time, lots of time.
The Rams have what it takes to be a competitive team this season, except for the offensive shortcomings. But it's pretty clear the Rams are not going to be competing for a Super Bowl, not this year anyway. Saving draft picks, especially the second- and third-round picks it would take to get someone like Bowe, gives them more options in April for building a talented, cost-effective roster ... and then making some free agent moves to go with it.
For this season, the Rams can probably get by with an offense featuring Amendola and Givens in the passing game.