The St. Louis Rams may be 3-2 in their first season under head coach Jeff Fisher, but they were dealt a significant injury blow on Thursday night when wide receiver Danny Amendola suffered a separated SC joint while laying out to haul in a 22-yard pass attempt from Sam Bradford.
Amendola did not break his collarbone, which the Rams initially feared, and will not require surgery. According to Jay Glazer of FOXSports.com, the injury could have been much, much worse.
During a report on Fox's pregame show, Glazer explained that Amendola dislocated his clavicle, which actually popped in and could have threatened Amendola's trachea and aorta. The Rams' medical staff acted quickly, putting Amendola to sleep before popping the clavicle back into place and making sure it could not dislodge again.
Glazer adds that the Rams called around the league to find a case of another player suffering a similar injury, but they could not find one. The absence of a case study for this particular injury makes it difficult for the Rams to know when Amendola might return. Though surgery is not required, it may take between four and eight weeks for the injury to heal to the point where Amendola can play.
Rams quarterback Sam Bradford acknowledged how important Amendola is to the offense following Thursday night's win over the Arizona Cardinals.
"Obviously, losing Danny is big," Bradford said via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "Everyone knows that he's a big part of our offense. A lot of what we do runs through him."
Through five weeks, Amendola has been targeted 49 times, more than twice as many targets as anyone else on the team (Brandon Gibson, 23), and he leads the team with 32 receptions for 395 yards and is tied for the team lead with two touchdowns. Amendola's 56-yard reception in a Week 2 win over the Washington Redskins is the Rams' longest offensive play of the season. Someone will need to step up while Amendola is out, with free-agent addition Steve Smith, a 2009 Pro Bowler with the New York Giants, possibly returning to the 46-man gameday roster after being inactive the last two weeks.
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