The decision to waive Danario Alexander on Monday clarified the St. Louis Rams' picture at wide receiver. In fact, as we noted in our in-depth look at the position, the odds for many of the more familiar names to make the roster are actually pretty good. The biggest issue now is getting reps for the players and sorting out exactly what the depth chart will look like heading into the season.
"We felt like we were better off going into this week keeping healthy receivers and evaluating them for potential, not only spots on the roster, but for potential practice squad than hang on to Danario," Jeff Fisher explained on Monday afternoon.
On the sidelines, Danario was not keeping other players off the field. Had he come back this week, unlikely, it would have unfairly eaten away reps from players making the case since the start of training camp. It also would have compromised the coaching staff, who have one more preseason game to get a feel for what their receivers can do in the offense.
"We're going to play a lot of receivers in the game," Fisher said. "We're not just going to line up with two and then sub with three and the others aren't going to play. We're going to keep them fresh and play them throughout the game."
That means more receivers will be getting work with Sam Bradford and the starting offense on Thursday as well.
I'd like to see Quick and Givens up there, but they're all young receivers," Fisher said. "You take, for example, Steve Smith's case. He hasn't really had an opportunity to work with Sam."
Brian Quick and Chris Givens may not be seeing the bulk of the snaps at receiver to start the season, but the Rams' offense will really need what both players are capable of bringing to the table. Brian Schottenheimer's offense has leaned on the run, but the playbook does mix it up.
Deep strikes have not been uncommon. Givens' playmaking ability could add an entire new dimension to the offense as a vertical threat and even on shorter passes that he can turn into something more with his explosiveness. Quick's size should match up well with more physical corners, as he learns the nuances of the pro game. Fisher praised the Appalachian State product.
"I'm very confident that Quick knows what to do and how to do it and will only get better," Fisher said. "I'm very impressed with his ability to come back from that hit. That was quite a hit and he bounced right back and wanted to play before the doctors cleared him to play, and came back in and made a big play. He's done a good job. He's actually, probably from a stats standpoint, a little bit ahead of where we thought he would be at this point, which is good."