ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — The potential dynamic tight end duo of Lance Kendricks and Mike Hoomanawanui will have to be put on hold for a while. Tuesday afternoon, Rams Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo made an official announcement that Hoomanawanui will miss a signficant amount of time.
Out of the University of Illinois in second season, Hoomanawanui was looking to build on the short amount of time that he had with the Rams during his rookie season. In 2010, ‘Illinois Mike’ or ‘Hoo-man”, was sidelined with ankle injuries plus had to cut the season short due to concussion issues.
Starting in the 2010 preseason, when Hoomanawanui and quarterback Sam Bradford were rookies, the two seemed to develop an instant chemistry. Because of the nagging injuries, Hoomanawanui only caught 13 receptions for 146 yards, but 3 of those catches were for touchdowns.
Coach Spagnuolo said that Hoomanawanui is still being examined by doctors, but the Rams are calling it a strained calf as of now. No timetable was given by Coach Spagnuolo other than saying that the tight end will miss an amount of weeks.
Under new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, the new Rams offense was hoping to utilize multiple tight ends formations as part of their attack whether they pass or run the ball. The 83-yard strike to Brandon Gibson from Bradford on Saturday against the Tennessee Titans was one of those two tight end sets.
The injury really is a disappointment after seeing rookie tight end Lance Kendricks have a big performance in the first preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts plus having a healthy Hoomanawanui. Both were especially supposed to bolster the red zone offense which only converted 35.7% of chances for touchdowns last season. Only the Carolina Panthers had a worse conversation rate.
McDaniels, Bradford, and the Rams offense will have to find a way to supplement what Hoomanawanui brought to the table. On Tuesday afternoon, tight end Billy Bajema was seen with the first group on the practice field. It is unknown if the Rams will use less of the multiple tight end formations.
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