Guess who was back on the field Wednesday afternoon? If you said Danny Amendola, you are exactly right. Amendola was limited in practice, and his status for this week's game in Buffalo is not certain.
Amendola played seven snaps in Week 12, catching one ball in the first half before the foot injury got to be too much to play through. He was inactive last week. The Rams won both of those games, though three of the team's touchdowns in that stretch can be attributed to cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
The Rams received contributions from elsewhere on the roster too, notably Chris Givens. Quarterback Sam Bradford noted after Wednesday's practice that the team has found ways to adjust to Amendola being out of the lineup.
"Obviously, things change a little bit," Bradford explained, "but, for the most part, we're still able to do everything we do. It might take away some of our quick game and inside in the slot where we rely more on completions outside. But I think all the guys who have stepped up when he's been down have done a great job, and they'll continue to do that."
Givens turned in his two biggest performances of the season during that stretch. He caught an Amendola-esque 11 receptions last week and has a total of 16 catches and has 207 yards through those two games. Calling it anything less than a breakout would be underselling it.
"It's the downfield speed that really is the reason that everything else is falling in to place now," head coach Jeff Fisher said. "In addition, just the more practice time and the more experience he gets the better feel he gets. One thing he likes, as we say, is he likes balls that are easy to catch and most the balls that are thrown to him are right on target. He's doing a good job with the other things other than just the deep routes."
All of the sudden, it looks like the Rams have a pair of viable receiving options, something that hasn't been seen around these parts since Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt wore horns on their heads. Amendola and Givens have a long way to go before they can be compared to those two, but it's a big step forward.
"I think this is the deepest we've ever been at wide receiver," Bradford said. "I think we've added pieces each year that I've been here. This year, with the addition of Quick and Givens, I think it gives us the most options we've ever had, which is nice because we have a nice compliment of receivers who all do different things very well."
The trick for the Rams now is using both Amendola and Givens well in conjunction with each other to form the backbone of a viable passing offense. Bradford has had both receivers on the field for only six games, effectively (Amendola has played eight, but left two early because of injury).
"I'm really happy with where that group is at right now and I think they've gotten better each week and that's all you can ask," Bradford said.
Get your St. Louis Rams tickets here.