It’s one step forward, two steps back for Danny Amendola.
The St. Louis Rams wide receiver is doubtful for Sunday’s game after missing practice all week with a foot injury. If he misses this week’s game, it would be the fourth game Amendola has sat out through the first 12 weeks of the season. Amendola missed three weeks earlier in the season with a serious clavicle injury.
When healthy, Amendola has been the Rams’ best receiver. In his seven games this year, Amendola has 50 catches for 538 yards. The next closest Rams receiver, Brandon Gibson, has 16 fewer receptions and 101 fewer yards than Amendola.
Amendola’s absence could be huge Sunday. The Rams struggle to move the ball through the air as it is, and their opponent, the Arizona Cardinals, allow just 204.7 passing yards per game, fourth-fewest in the NFL. It was against the Cardinals on Oct. 4 that Amendola left the game in the first half with the clavicle injury.
One thing that may make quarterback Sam Bradford’s life a little easier on Sunday is the possible return of center Scott Wells. Wells, a Pro Bowler in 2011, hasn’t played since the first week of the season after fracturing his foot. He was put on the injured reserve list with a designation for return, and he’s been practicing in recent weeks in anticipation of his activation.
The Rams activated Wells earlier in the week and head coach Jeff Fisher thinks Wells has a chance to contribute on Sunday.
“(Wells) got through pretty well,” Fisher said. “He alternated a little bit with (C/G) Rob (Turner), but for the most part he took most of the reps. It looks like he’s got a chance to play a little bit.”
Wells’ return would allow the Rams to start their opening day offensive line for the first time since the season opener. With Wells returning, Turner will slide over to the left guard position, where he began the season. Left guard has been a revolving door for the Rams in Wells’ absence.
Linebacker Mario Haggan (elbow) is the only Rams player that has been ruled out for Sunday. Amendola is the only player designated as doubtful. Tight end Lance Kendricks (knee) and safety Rodney McLeod (calf) are both questionable; McLeod missed Thursday and Friday’s practice after not being listed on the injury report Wednesday. McLeod’s absence would primarily be felt on special teams, where he is one of the team’s best performers.
Running back Steven Jackson got a day of rest Wednesday before being a limited participant on Thursday and Friday. Jackson is probable for the game.
With the exception of starting quarterback Kevin Kolb, the Cardinals are overwhelmingly healthy. The only other starter questionable for Sunday’s game is defensive end Calais Campbell. No Cardinals player missed a day of practice, and only four of the 16 players listed on the injury report aren’t probable for Sunday.