St. Louis was a popular pick to the win the NFC West, but they were not only outclassed in the first game at home against Philadelphia 31-13, they also suffered injuries that put the hopes for a breakout season in doubt. It started with Steven Jackson, who suffered a quadriceps injury while making a long touchdown run that put the Rams ahead 7-0. Jackson has battled muscle injuries several times during his career, missing 4 games in 2007 with a partial tear of his groin, 4 games with a quadriceps injury in 2008, a groin strain last year that he played with (no missed games) and now this. Cadillac Williams, hardly known for staying healthy when given a large amount of carries, takes over while Jackson is out.
Later, Danny Amendola, who led the team in receiving last year, dislocated an elbow and is going to be out for quite a while, with estimates being 8-12 weeks, and the Rams may decide to put him on injured reserve. Right tackle Jason Smith, the 2nd overall pick in 2009, suffered what is believed to be a high ankle sprain and missed the second half.
Then there’s QB Sam Bradford, who hit his finger on the hand of Ju’qua Parker while throwing a pass late in the game, and has suffered some nerve damage to the finger on his throwing hand. He’s supposed to play, but it’s cause for concern. Other teams may have looked worse than the Rams in losing, but none had as costly a day. Bradford didn’t play well before the injury, gaining only 188 yards on 30 attempts with no touchdowns (which is similar to his 6.0 ypa last year), taking 5 sacks, and dropping a ball as he stumbled trying to get the running back, which was returned for an Eagles touchdown. He missed some throws, including a big one to the corner where Amendola had a few steps on third and goal, with the Rams down 24-10.
Now, the Rams go into a showcase game against the Giants’ depleted defense next Monday night, and it will likely be without their star running back, right tackle, and Bradford’s security blanket on underneath routes. The Amendola loss could be big, and the offense that was supposed to take a big step with Josh McDaniels may be lucky to hold steady.
[photo via Getty]