Amendola, Kendricks step up despite injuries

10 hours ago • By Kathleen Nelson

After missing practice and walking the sidelines in a boot all last week, receiver Danny Amendola surprised just about everyone when he was active for Sunday’s 31-17 victory over the Cardinals.

Amendola classified the injury as “just pretty much the heel — underneath the heel,” and was listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game, almost always a sign that a player won’t play. Coach Jeff Fisher said Amendola tried to participate in the walk-through Saturday, “and just backed down and felt like he needed another day. So we highlighted the 90-minute mark before kickoff.”

At zero hour Sunday, Fisher said, “He just ran around and just basically said he’d be able to work through it and be able to play.”

Or, as Amendola said, “Sometimes you’ve got to play through pain. We wanted to be smart about it.“

Amendola got on the field for just seven plays and was targeted just once but made it count with a highlight-reel catch for 38 yards with six minutes left in the second quarter.

“We felt good enough with the group that we knew we weren’t going to get 100 percent of the snaps out of him, so we played him in a couple personnel groupings,” Fisher said. “He started getting sore, so we backed him down.”

Fisher sounded more encouraged Monday than he did after the game about Amendola’s prospects for practice this week.

“He’s a little sore, but he’s got a chance to get back on the practice field,” Fisher said. “He’s healing, but it’s going to take time to where he gets back to 100 percent. So we just have to watch him during practice this week.”

Amendola has 51 catches for 576 yards and a pair of touchdowns this season.

Kendricks steps up

Tight end Lance Kendricks also was limited in practice last week and targeted just twice Sunday, but his one catch was memorable: 37 yards for a touchdown that tied the score 14-14. En route to the end zone, Kendricks stiff-armed Kerry Rhodes out of his way with ease.

“It was just me trying to get behind the linebackers, trying to get over to the safeties, and once I caught the ball it was one-on-one,” Kendricks said.

The TD catch was the second of the season for Kendricks; the first also was against the Cardinals, here in October.

Though not injured nearly as bad as Amendola, Kendricks played despite a knee injury he suffered the previous week and wore a brace Sunday.

“I didn’t know if I was going to play at all” against the Cardinals, Kendricks said. “I just wrapped it up and said, ‘Get it numb’ and just got out there and played.”

Fisher noted that Kendricks had stepped up this year not only as a receiver but as a blocker.

“He’s really improved,” Fisher said. “He’s very, very strong at the point of attack. That’s why we’re using some of the wham blocks on the defensive linemen. He’s very effective there. He’s getting open. He’s completing the catch and he’s running after the catch, so it’s good to see him progressing like that.”

Injury report

Fisher said center Scott Wells “didn’t have any issues and felt good” after starting his first game since the season opener, when he suffered a foot injury. Wells was a Pro Bowler last year whom the Rams signed to a four-year, $24 million contract.

The only starter to miss Sunday’s game was linebacker Mario Haggan, out with an elbow injury. Fisher said only that Haggan was “progressing.”

RAM-BLINGS

Chris Givens tallied the first 100-yard receiving game of his career. Givens ranks third among NFL rookie wide receivers with 467 receiving yards and is tied for third with three TD catches.He’s averaging 21.1 yards a catch, best among rookies. … Linebacker James Laurinaitis led the Rams with 16 tackles. Cornerback Cortland Finnegan had 13 and Jo-Lonn Dunbar 11.