Danny Amendola Injury: Mike Sims-Walker and 4 Players Who Must Step Up

John Rozum@Rozum27Correspondent IOctober 5, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 19:  Mike Sims-Walker #10 of the St. Louis Rams lines up against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 19, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

So far it's been a rough 2011 season for the St. Louis Rams, to say the least.

And according to Adam Caplan of the Sideline Review, WR Danny Amendola is out for the year:

"I'm told Rams KR/WR/PR Danny Amendola (dislocated elbow/torn triceps) is expected to miss the rest of the season."

Luckily for the Rams however, the NFC West is a weak division, and they have yet to play a divisional game.

The downside is that the schedule otherwise is rough, because Green Bay (away) is next, as well as Dallas (away) and New Orleans (home).

In any event, the Rams aren't out of anything yet, so here are four players that need to pick it up in St. Louie.


Mike Sims-Walker, WR

11 receptions for 139 yards on 26 targets, but no TDs.

It's clear Sims-Walker must pick up the slack, because if he doesn't, he may find himself without a job after the season.

St. Louis and QB Sam Bradford really need him to become an established receiving target and force some double coverage, that way some of the less experienced wide-outs can work on beating their single coverage.

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 2:   Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams throws against the Washington Redskins October 2, 2011 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images)
Whitney Curtis/Getty Images

However, until Sims-Walker starts emerging as a leader (which he never did in Jacksonville, otherwise he'd still be there), the Rams' passing attack is going to suffer as are his numbers.

Sam Bradford, QB

Sure, it's easy to say that Bradford needs to step up, but he actually has to do that in order for the Rams to stay alive.

In the time of adversity lies an opportunity, and Sam Bradford must take this current situation, seize it and then own it.

He wasn't the No. 1 overall pick to average only 183 yards per game and have three TDs to one pick after four games.

Right now, this moment, is where Bradford can solidify himself as a great NFL QB.

Making your players better, regardless of who they are, is one of your responsibilities as the team leader and QB.

It'll be interesting to see how Bradford responds as the season continues, because St. Louis needs him to make strides now more than ever.

Steven Jackson, RB

If there's a player on the St. Louis Rams who can really send a message about turning things around, RB Steven Jackson is that man.

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 2:  Steven Jackson #39 of the St. Louis Rams rushes against the Washington Redskins at the Edward Jones Dome on October 2, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Redskins beat the Rams 17-10.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

He's been one of the better RBs in the NFL since his rookie year (2004), but after four games this season, he has only 124 yards on 23 attempts.

And even though he missed Week 2 because of an injury, Jackson must step up, because if he's ineffective, then there's no chance that Josh McDaniels' offense will become multidimensional or use a solid two-back system.

Therefore, putting more responsibility on the next guy can help a lot when utilized properly.

Cadillac Williams, RB

He's only a year younger than Steven Jackson, but Cadillac Williams has been mauled by injures since his rookie season in Tampa Bay.

That being said, he could have an even bigger impact on the Rams' offense if he becomes a team leader.

Sure, he may lead the team in rushing yards (202), but along with Jackson, St. Louie could have so much more potential running the football if Williams can influence the rest of the team to pick up the pace.

He's been completely healthy the past two seasons, so that should carry over into having a solid season this year.

But he can't do it alone, and the quicker Williams can motivate his new team to maintain their confidence, the quicker they'll get back on track.


Be sure to check out John on Bleacher Report.

And, you can follow him on Twitter @ Sportswriter27.


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