St. Louis Rams wide receiver Donnie Avery continues his rehab from a torn ACL suffered in the preseason last year. Yesterday, Avery told fans via Twitter that he ran a 4.4 forty, after a week of lower body work. Speed helped make Avery the first receiver off the board in the 2008 NFL Draft, and this is a good sign that the Rams' deep threat is getting back to full, well, speed for the season ahead.
At the end of May, around the same time that the Rams players were holding informal practices, it was reported that Avery ran a 4.34 forty. He did say above that his 4.4 forty came after a week of lower body work which can leave the legs a little heavy in the immediate aftermath. When Avery was drafted, he was running sub-4.3 times. Since then, he has gained about 10 pounds, at the request of Rams coaches, going from 183-ish to 190s.
Avery tore his right ACL in a preseason game against the Patriots last year. He was tightly covered by Pat's rookie sensation CB Devin McCourty.
A healthy Avery is essential for the Rams offense, which really missed his deep speed last year as they scrounged for ways to stretch the field in the passing game. Avery flashed some real potential in his rookie season, but was lost in the moribund Rams offense of 2009, one that featured three quarterbacks. The University of Houston product has to establish himself as a name brand receiver this year. This is the last year of his contract with the Rams.