News that Amendola will land on injured reserve sets back the offense considerably.
Amendola was the one known quantity among the Rams' wide receiver. The other players at the position carried question marks related to health, talent or both. And the two rookies the team drafted, Austin Pettis and Greg Salas, were going to need time to develop.
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels had planned to build the passing game around Amendola. I'll pass along the comments he made when I spoke with him at training camp in August:
"Danny has played in the slot and he has been very effective doing it well before I was here. But he has great quickness in a short area and when you talk about a smaller guy, he has that great ability to create some separation. He’s incredibly tough, which if you are going to be inside, you are going to get hit. He got whacked in our first preseason game, the helmet comes off, chin strap comes unbuckled, but he got up. He kind of licked his lips, put his helmet back on and away he went.
"You gotta be really tough, you gotta be able to create some separation quick because you don’t have all day to run a 5-yard route sometimes. You gotta get open. He does that and he has great hands and he’s really tough. He is everything you want in that regard. His motor is just at top speed all the time and he is not shy about contact. He is on the ground every day. Finish a play, bang, he’s in the end zone, he’s on the ground. That is just Danny. That is the way he plays. He plays hard. He plays the game the way you want him to play it."
Think McDaniels was excited about what Amendola could mean for his offense? Yes, he was, and now he'll go through the remaining 12 games without the Rams' leading receiver from 2010. Amendola, injured during the regular-season opener against Philadelphia, had 85 catches last season.
Quarterback Sam Bradford, speaking during a training camp interview, said he considered Amendola "perfectly suited" for McDaniels' vision.
"Putting him in position to succeed is something that is really going to help this offense," Bradford said then.