St. Louis Rams tight end Michael Hoomanawanui ran for the first time this week since tearing his ACL last November, according to Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch. That should put the third-year tight end on pace to practice when training camp starts.
Drafted in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Hoomanawanui was a pleasant surprise for the Rams in his rookie year. He caught 13 passes for 146 yards and three touchdowns, as quarterback Sam Bradford started connecting with the big man as a red zone threat.
Of course, just as the two started to develop a connection, Hoomanawanui was on the shelf again with a high ankle sprain. He played in just eight games in his rookie year.
That was the same number of games he played in 2011, eight. He tore his ACL in the Rams' Week 10 win over the Browns. You know, the one with the field goal. Like the rest of the offense, Hoomanawanui never really found his stride last season. He was billed as a version of Rob Gronkowski in Josh McDaniels' offense. Those comparisons proved to be a little, um, irrationally exuberant. He mostly worked as a blocker in last year's confused offense.
The Rams could really use a healthy Hoomanawanui in 2012, but a torn ACL can sometimes slow a player in his first season back from the injury.