The St. Louis Rams believed Danny Amendola might be lost for a major chunk of the season with a possible broken collarbone suffered in Thursday night's 17-3 win over the Arizona Cardinals. The news isn't quite that grim.
NFL.com and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Friday that Amendola suffered a "shoulder separation where the collarbone meets the chest," according to a source who has spoken with the player. Amendola, who entered the game ranked second in the NFL with 31 catches, is expected to miss six to seven weeks.
That would place the wide receiver's return somewhere around Week 11 or 12. It still leaves quarterback Sam Bradford without his top target in a Rams offense populated with potential -- but little proven experience -- at receiver. Bradford threw a string of 12 consecutive incompletions Thursday night, and Amendola's absence won't help remedy those ugly streaks.
A combination of Steve Smith and Austin Pettis is best suited to replace Amendola in the slot, and we fully expect the Rams to keep him on the active roster. The team we saw Thursday night is very much a Jeff Fisher-esque operation: scrappy and willing to battle through inherent imperfections. In a suddenly competitive NFC West, the Rams hope to get Amendola back for more than just another hollow, late-season string of games in St. Louis.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.