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St. Louis Rams practice notes, 8/16: Back to the receivers

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The St. Louis Rams traded stars on the injury report for today's practice. James Laurinaitis returned to the field after dealing with a pectoral muscle last week. Taking his place on the sidelines today was Steven Jackson, keeping off a sore hip. Fortunately, these kinds of things are just the normal bumps and bruises of preseason play. Teams and players have the luxury to letting those heal now, whereas in the regular season they're usually forced to play through all but the most serious of injuries. 

A couple starting linemen joined Jackson on the sidelines today. Rodger Saffold and Jacob Bell both dealt with sore backs; neither injury is considered serious. It gave Adam Goldberg and Hank Fraley a chance to work with the starters, not a bad thing should they be pressed into duty this year. 

Among the receivers, Greg Salas was back at practice. Salas impressed early on, but missed Saturday's preseason opener because of injury. Still on the sidelines with the injury-prone label was Donnie Avery, who has missed substantial time and opportunity to learn the new offense. Whenever he does return to health, he'll have to make an big impression in a hurry. Drafted by the previous regime and playing for an offensive coordinator that doesn't place the same value on pure speed, Avery faces an uphill slog for a spot on the final roster. 

Speaking of the receivers, ESPN's Mike Sando was at practice today and shared some thoughts on the WR situation via his blog. He predicts Danny Amendola, Mike Sims-Walker, Brandon Gibson, Salas and Austin Pettis to earn five of six or seven roster spots for receivers. That leaves one or two open spots. Mardy Gilyard has done well so far. Avery's hurt, and Danario Alexander may not have the knee to make it in the pros.