Rams' Amendola puts freak injury behind him

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 | 9:53 p.m. CDT
St. Louis Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola fields a punt during NFL football training camp, Tuesday, July 31, 2012, in St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS — Experiencing the play that ruined his 2011 season was enough for Danny Amendola. The St. Louis Rams wide receiver has never watched a replay of the freak injury, saying all that matters is he is back.

Amendola was Sam Bradford's go-to possession receiver in 2010 with 85 receptions. He was durable, too, especially given the fact he is 5-11 and 188 pounds. Amendola played all 16 games and totaled 90 kickoff and punt returns.

He didn't make it out of the 2011 opener. Amendola put his left hand to the turf while making a cut against the Eagles and dislocated his left elbow. Slow motion replays showed the elbow hyperextending severely.

"I've never seen it; I don't even care. The words don't haunt me, either," Amendola told the Associated Press. "Injuries are part of the game, and that's the way it goes sometimes.

"It's all right, it's all good. I'm back."

Amendola was having a typical game before the injury, with five catches for 45 yards. He tried rehab for a month, then tried a sturdier brace before going on injured reserve in October.

Now it's all behind him.

"I'm back to 100 percent. As strong as I've ever been," Amendola said after the second day of training camp. "No complaints."

The 26-year-old Amendola isn't concerned about winning a job in a more crowded field of candidates. Brandon Lloyd left in free agency, but the Rams drafted wide receiver Brian Quick in the second round and Chris Givens in the fourth and signed signing veteran free agent Steve Smith.

Among the holdovers from the Steve Spagnuolo regime are Brandon Gibson (36 catches), often-injured but intriguing deep threat and former Missouri star Danario Alexander, and second-year players Greg Salas and Austin Pettis. Pettis is suspended for the first four games for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances.

"It's cool, it's what football's all about, I guess," Amendola said. "We're getting better. Our room is as good as I've seen it."

The undersized Amendola cracked the NFL the hard way after a productive career at Texas Tech, spending the 2008 season on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad and the start of 2009 on the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad before the Rams picked him up.

Given that, absorbing a fifth offensive system in parts of four seasons with Brian Schottenheimer now making the calls is not such a big deal.

Amendola described the West Coast style offense as a mix of everything he has experienced in the NFL. He said he has picked up more since Schottenheimer came aboard earlier this year than he did the rest of his career.

"Every offense has a lot of similarities, you've just got to learn the verbiage and whatnot," Amendola said. "It's intricatebut we're up here all day long working on it, so we're learning."

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