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Thread: Hoomanawanui Closer To Return
Hoomanawanui Closer To Return
Hoomanawanui closer to return
BY BILL COATS
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 12:25 am
It's probably a long shot, but injured Rams rookie tight end Michael Hoomanawanui could return for Sunday's game against San Francisco.
Sidelined since suffering a sprain high on his right ankle Nov. 28 at Denver, Hoomanawanui did some running and sled work Monday and afterward said he "felt pretty good. So we're hopeful," coach Steve Spagnuolo said.
Hoomanawanui was hurt shortly after scoring on a 35-yard pass play that ignited a Rams rally from a 10-0 deficit to a 36-33 victory. It was the third TD for the fifth-round draft choice out of Illinois, who has produced 146 yards on 13 catches.
Spagnuolo said he expects Hoomanawanui and running back Kenneth Darby, who has missed two games with a broken rib, to be on the field Wednesday when the players return to practice.
"They're limited in their participation ... but at least they'll be out there in some capacity. So that's a positive thing," Spagnuolo said.
"If they're going to be out there practicing, there's always a chance they might go" vs. the *****, Spagnuolo added. "We need all our guys, especially guys that have been factored into certain situations or schemes, and Mike is one of them. I know nobody's champing at the bit more than Mike."
Should Hoomanawanui be cleared for game action, he could solve another problem for Spagnuolo and his staff. Brit Miller, a key special-teams contributor, had taken over the fullback duties from Mike Karney, who was among the team's inactives the last four Sundays.
But Miller tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in Sunday's 27-13 loss to Kansas City and will have surgery in about a month.
Before Hoomanawanui was hurt, he was lining up at times at fullback, giving the Rams increased options with their play-calling.
If Hoomanawanui is active Sunday, the Rams could keep Karney on the sideline in favor of an additional special-teamer. Miller had collected 16 special-teams tackles in nine games.
LONG HAS THIGH BRUISE
Defensive end Chris Long reported Monday to Rams Park with a bruised left thigh. "It's a little bit sore right now, so we'll see where we're at on Wednesday," Spagnuolo said, adding that trainer Reggie Scott "will be working on that between now and then."
Long had a sack and two quarterback hits Sunday. He boosted his season sack total to 7½, second on the team to defensive end James Hall's 8½ and a career high for Long, the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2008.
The only other injury suffered Sunday was a bruised toe by rookie defensive end George Selvie.
bradford tops 3,000
Although quarterback Sam Bradford has completed just 54.8 percent of his passes, for no touchdowns and five interceptions, in the last three games, he did join a rather exclusive club Sunday.
By throwing for 181 yards, Bradford boosted his season total to 3,065 and became only the third rookie in NFL history to top 3,000 for a season. Indianapolis' Peyton Manning had 3,739 in 1998 and Atlanta's Matt Ryan had 3,440 in 2008.
The Rams were called for 10 penalties (one was declined) vs. the Chiefs, their second-highest total of the season and equaling the number they'd amassed in the three previous games combined.
Tackle Jason Smith and cornerback Kevin Dockery were the primary offenders. Smith was guilty of a false start, illegal use of the hands and holding (declined). Dockery was flagged for illegal contact and a 15-yard unnecessary-roughness penalty for a late hit on the sideline.
"There's no question that penalties hurt us, especially in the first half," Spagnuolo said. "This game's hard enough on offense to score, to move the ball, being efficient. When you go backward, it makes it doubly tough. ...
"But I think the guys know it's just a little bit more focus. We'll get that cleaned up and make things a little bit easier on ourselves."
Middle linebacker James Laurinaitis recorded a team-high 12 tackles, according to the coaches' film review. ... After taking a 6-0 lead with 4 minutes, 43 seconds to go in the first quarter, the Rams went eight possessions — until 11:08 remained in the fourth period — in which they mustered just two first downs.
-12-23-2010 #2Registered User
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Re: Hoomanawanui Closer To Return
Would be nice to get Illinois Mike back this weekend
-12-23-2010 #4Registered User
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