No question: Amendola ready to return to lineup

20 hours ago • By DAN O’NEILL doneill@post-dispatch.com

Danny Amendola swears he can dunk a basketball.

“I can do a 360 dunk,” said Amendola, who is generously listed at 5 feet 11 in the Rams’ media guide.

Without questioning the integrity of the diminutive receiver, a reporter might have to witness that event in order to believe it. Along those lines, Amendola officially is listed as questionable for the Rams’ game on Sunday in San Francisco. That factoid might be even more difficult to believe. If Amendola is “questionable,” so is death and income taxes.

“The shoulder feels good, everything feels good, ready to go,” said Amendola, who has missed three games because of a shoulder-clavicle injury. Amendola has been active in practice all week, getting lots of repetitions, re-establishing his connection karma with quarterback Sam Bradford.

Amendola was one of the leading receivers in the NFL before suffering the injury.

In five games he has 32 receptions for 395 yards and two touchdowns, including a 15-catch day against Washington in Week 2.

Amendola acknowledged that he lobbied to rejoin team for its game against the Patriots in London two weekends ago. This week, he is not lobbying, he is demanding.

“I was lobbying in London but I don’t know ... I don’t think I was ready in London,” he said. “I feel ready now. The bye week really helped, just an extra week to get better. Not much lobbying (involved) this time, I just told them pretty much.”

It also seems probable that left tackle Rodger Saffold will be back in the mix as well. Like Amendola, Saffold is listed as questionable because of a sprained knee, suffered in Week 2. Also like Amendola, Saffold has received meaningful practice time the past few days.

Injury Report

Linebacker Mario Haggan (thigh), offensive tackle Wayne Hunter (back), defensive tackle Kellen Heard (feet), Amendola and Saffold officially practiced on a limited basis on Friday and are listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

Safety Darian Stewart (knee) and defensive end Eugene Sims (knee) did not practice and are doubtful for Sunday.

Offensive tackle Barry Richardson (head), linebacker Justin Cole (illness) and defensive tackle Kendall Langford (non injury related) practiced in full on Friday and are probable for the game.

Niners’ MU connection

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh was singing the praises of his Missouri-flavored defensive front, which includes unrelated Mizzou products Justin Smith and Aldon Smith.

Justin Smith was Cincinnati’s first-round pick in 2001, the fourth player taken in that NFL draft. The 33-year old defensive end has come into his own with the ***** and their 3-4 alignment up front.

“He is a football player,” Harbaugh said. “Everybody should have a Justin Smith on their team. Just daily, we’re showered with all of his attributes. He’s just a great football player and tremendous leader and great guy to be around.

Aldon Smith, 23, left Mizzou early and became San Francisco’s first-round pick in 2011, the seventh pick overall. He has become an impact player as a pass rusher, with 14 sacks last year and 7.5 thus far this season.

“He’s been very good, very dynamic,” Harbaugh added. “He’s had a lot of expectations put on him, and he’s done a great job of living up to those lofty expectations. We’re seeing real improvement and growth in Aldon, and we’re excited as heck about him.”

Brockers praises Gore

Defensive tackle Michael Brockers, the Rams’ recent No. 1 pick, expects to have his hands full against Frank Gore (5.5 yards per carry) and the accomplished *****’ rushing game. At 5-9, Gore runs low to the ground and is hard to find among the tall trees. But Brockers said it’s more than that.

“So many running backs start 8 or 7˝ yards back, but he starts at 5 or 6 yards,” Brockers said. “It hits so quick. I don’t think it’s the fact that it’s hard to find him. It’s just that the play is hitting so quick you don’t even see it and he’s past.”