ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Rams will be without No. 1 wide receiver Donnie Avery for four to six weeks after the second-year player injured his foot during a scrimmage last week.

Avery was hurt Friday and has a stress fracture in his left foot, the team said. The injury could mean he'll miss the first two regular-season games.

Donnie Avery , WR
St. Louis Rams

2008 Statistics
Catches: 53
Yards: 674
Touchdowns: 3

"We'll take it day by day, but it's going to be a lot of time," Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said.

After Torry Holt left as a free agent after last season, Avery became the Rams' top receiver. He had 53 catches for 674 yards as a rookie. He was chosen in the second round of the 2008 draft.

Rookie Brooks Foster, second-year player Keenan Burton and veterans Tim Carter, Laurent Robinson and Ronald Curry are among the nine wide receivers in camp fighting for roster spots.

Spagnuolo acknowledged that the Rams will miss Avery's speed, but he still feels that quarterback Marc Bulger can get the job done with the West Coast offense being installed by new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

"The way it's designed, Marc gets the ball out quick," Spagnuolo said. "I always say to the offense, 'just get a bunch of first downs.' That's the object right there."

The veteran receivers in camp all have something to prove.

Carter did not play last year, but has 80 career catches over six seasons. Curry was signed by the Rams in April as a free agent after being released by Oakland, where he spent seven years. Robinson played the last two seasons in Atlanta.

"It's too early for me to assume a role," said Curry, who had 19 catches for 181 yards with the Raiders in 2008. "A lot of us, we're still battling for positions right now."

Carter is just thankful for a chance.

"Every day I'm on the field, I feel like that's an opportunity," he said. "All the reps I get that's an opportunity. Nothing's really changed with the way I approach it."

Robinson, who had five catches in six games for Atlanta last season, admits he struggled during the organized team activities but feels he is coming around.

"I went home and got my confidence back," he said. "After the trade, I guess I wasn't all that focused. Now I got my focus back and my confidence up and I'm ready to play."

He and the other receivers are looking to Friday's game against the Jets. But they all concede Avery will be missed.

"He's the best receiver on the team," Curry said. "He brings more to the table than anybody and he should be thrown at as the No. 1 receiver. You got to know your role and that's his role."

Notes: After losing safety Eric Bassey to a season-ending knee injury, the Rams have added Mark Rubin to the roster. A rookie free agent from Penn State, Rubin was with the team during organized team activities but let go prior to camp. ... The Rams had their first altercation in camp when safety James Butler threw a loose ball at tight end Billy Bajema, who then went after Butler. Some coaches like that sort of thing, but not Spagnuolo. "I'd rather not have it, but I understand it," he said.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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