I didn't know your arm could bend that way. Ouch!
The Rams were blown out by the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1. Making matters worse, they suffered injuries to their top three offensive players. First, Steven Jackson left the game with a strained quad. Second, Danny Amendola hyper extended his elbow. Finally, Sam Bradford banged his hand on a defender's helmet and injured the index finger on his throwing hand.
Bradford and Jackson could return this week when the Rams play the New York Giants. However, Danny Amendola and his 85 catches will be out for quite a while, maybe the entire season. How will the Rams replace their most consistent wide receiver?
I'll give you five names to watch as the Rams try to avoid a disastrous start to their season.
Donnie Avery has elite speed. Will the Rams give him another shot?
Donnie Avery was the first wide receiver taken in the 2008 Draft, taken with the No. 2 pick in the second round. Avery has elite speed, and he showed flashes of being a good player early in his career. However, Avery never put up consistent numbers for the Rams. You could make the argument that he was playing with a sub par quarterback (Marc Bulger) on a sub par team.
Then the Rams drafted Sam Bradford last year, and it looked like we would finally get to see what Avery was capable of. However, he tore his knee up during preseason and missed the entire regular season. He came back strong and had a decent preseason, and then the Rams mysteriously cut him at the end of training camp this year.
That's right, the Rams cut a high second round pick that they drafted three years ago. Some Rams fans were furious, but then Avery wasn't picked up by another team. So he is still sitting out there. He knows the offense, and he has worked with Sam Bradford.
Avery seems like the logical choice to replace Danny Amendola.
The Rams need help at wide receiver, and Austin Pettis is already in house.
The Rams' second most obvious guy to replace Amendola might be Austin Pettis, who the Rams drafted in the third round this past April. Pettis made the team, but then was placed on the inactive roster for the first game. Common sense might be to just dress Pettis out this week, right?
Wait, wait, wait....I know, that sounds like a misprint. I can hear you asking the question, "The Rams cut their 2008 second round pick, and they also had last year's third round pick on the inactive list? Are you serious? Who does the scouting for the Rams?"
Well, that is a topic for another story.
But Austin Pettis was billed as a solid wide receiver coming out of Boise State. Not a star player, but a versatile receiver who could play multiple roles. Amendola is a slot receiver, one of those pesky little guys, like the New England Patriots Wes Welker, that can just wear a defense down with short catches. Pettis has pretty good hands, so he should be able to fill in for Danny Amendola.
If he can't, the Rams could take a good look at the next guy on our list.
DX might get his chance to shine with Amendola out.
Danario Alexander is not the same type of receiver as Danny Amendola. Alexander is a deep threat, the kind of guy that runs the "fly pattern." He has proved to be a big play threat with the Rams, and would probably be a fixture in the Rams' starting lineup if not for his knee problems.
You see, his left knee is about as solid as a boiled spaghetti noodle.
So do the Rams risk "overexposing" Alexander by playing him big minutes? If they do, will that knee hold up, or will he just injure that knee again? Don't you think it's time that we find out exactly what we have with Alexander so we can either play him or just move on?
That is a lot of questions surrounding one knee.
If Alexander is the guy, that would probably mean that one of the other Rams' receivers (maybe Brandon Gibson?) would have to work the inside routes that Amendola runs, because Alexander is not going to be that guy for the Rams.
If not now, at some point this year, the Rams have to put Alexander out there and let him play. The guy is simply too talented to leave on the inactive list.
Will the Rams bring back Torry Holt?
Torry Holt is royalty in St. Louis. As a member of the original "Greatest Show on Turf," he is a link to the team's championship past. Holt is out of football right now, but he still has some gas left in the tank, and I'm sure he is waiting by the phone.
Will the Rams give him that call?
Personally, I'd love to see Holt come back. He was a great player for the Rams, and he could definitely be the type of receiver to run good routes, make a few clutch plays a game and at least catch the ball when he is open.
Because as of right now, that would be an improvement over what the Rams did Sunday.
If nothing else, bringing Holt back would be a good influence on these younger players. Management could look at the players and say, "Guys, this is how you act as a professional football player."
I'd love it if the Rams brought back Torry Holt.
Is this the last we've seen of Randy Moss?
The Rams need a big time player at wide receiver. Simply put, they are playing with a bunch of "two's and three's" right now, with no true elite receiver on the roster. But there is a guy sitting at home that fits that description, and he is just waiting for the right team to call.
Of course, I'm talking about Randy Moss.
Moss is one of the most prolific wide receivers in the history of the National Football League. Sure, he has probably lost half a step as he has gotten older, but he is still better than anybody the Rams have. Do you think he would be interested in catching passes from Sam Bradford, the best young quarterback in the league? I think he would, and there is another reason he might come to St. Louis.
He had his best season as a pro while playing for offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
Moss has the reputation as being tough to coach and that he only plays when he wants to play. The Rams could go into this deal with a certain amount of familiarity already in place between McDaniels and Moss. Personally, I think all of that is overblown. Moss has made mistakes, but he seems like an honest guy that admits when he was wrong.
The bottom line is, the guy can stretch the defense better than any receiver that has ever played the game. The Rams need help, with a brutal schedule for the first seven weeks of the season. They need a guy that can come in here and understand Josh McDaniels offense.
Randy Moss is that guy! Now all Rams GM Billy Devaney needs to do is make that call.
Spags needs to win now, and he knows it.
Steve Spagnulo needs to win now, and he knows it. They sometimes say that the NFL stands for "Not For Long." Spags was 1-15 in his first season as a coach. The Rams improved to 7-9 last year and look like they are headed in the right direction. Their schedule is brutal this season. Don't kid yourself; if the Rams go 3-13 this year for whatever reason, injuries, poor play, etc., then Spags will be squarely on the hot seat.
That is just the nature of the beast.
So he needs to push Rams management to do the right thing and go sign the best player available, Randy Moss. He can talk about his "Four Pillars" all he wants, and they are important, no doubt, but the Rams need talent right now.
I'd love to be a fly on the wall as the Rams are discussing how they are going to replace Amendola. Who knows, maybe this will make the Rams go out and do something that actually makes their football team better?
Because it can't get much worse than it was in Week 1 against the Eagles.