Danny Amendola's NFL record-setting day part of process

Friday, September 21, 2012 | 9:32 p.m. CDT
St. Louis Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola, left, celebrates after catching a 1-yard touchdown pass as teammate Brandon Gibson looks on during the second quarter of Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins in St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS — Danny Amendola refuses to look at his record performance as more than a product of the process.

The fourth-year receiver, who was undrafted out of Texas Tech, caught a NFL-tying record 12 first-half passes against the Washington Redskins on Sunday in a 31-28 victory for St. Louis (1-1).

He finished the game with a team-tying record of 15 receptions for 160 yards, including a 57-yarder, and a touchdown. At one point, he caught five consecutive passes from Rams quarterback Sam Bradford. 

"It was just the progressions and kind of what the defense was giving us," he said. "I just happened to be the guy that was open."

Reggie Wayne set the league record with the Colts in 2007.

Amendola's performance didn't come as a surprise to Bradford. Bradford and Amendola combined for 85 receptions for 689 yards and three touchdowns in 2010. But, Amendola broke his arm in the first game of last season, which ended the receiver's 2011 season.

Bradford said throughout the preseason and against the Lions in the 2012 season opener, Amendola was finding space when covered one-on-one.

"We knew that we were going to get him the ball," Bradford said. "I'm not sure if we knew that he was going to get that many balls. I said it after the game: he's always a big part of our offense, he'll continue to be a big part of our offense, and if we have the opportunity to get him that many catches, we're definitely going to do so."

Amendola enters Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears (1-1) at Soldier Field as his team's leading receiver with 20 catches and 230 yards.

Amendola's presence is all but certain to diminish against the Bears, especially with the return of fellow receiver Austin Pettis following his four-game suspension for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy.

Amendola signed with Dallas out of college and landed on their practice squad in 2008. He was with Philadelphia during the preseason of 2009 before being cut and then signed with the Rams in late September. He had 133 catches for 1,060 years entering this season.

During the offseason, he focused on his route running and said the work might be helping.

"I'd like to think so, maybe," Amendola said. "I work on quickness drills all offseason, trying to get in and out of routes, just try to perfect it."

His record performance was enough to erase an inauspicious beginning to the game.

On the Rams' first play from scrimmage, Amendola caught the ball and promptly fumbled it. The Redskins picked it up and ran it in for a touchdown.

Coach Jeff Fisher said Amendola's ability to get past the mistake, like his work to recover from his injury from last year, proves the receiver's toughness.

"Well, it was the entire effort coming back," Fisher said. "That's hard in the home opener where you've missed, for all intents and purposes, the entire previous season. To come out and first touch, put the ball on the ground and have it returned for a touchdown that's hard. He just shook it right off and made the point that he's a pretty good receiver."

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