Rams' Offense Must Pick Up Slack

To cover up for their injury-plagued defense, the league's lowest-scoring offense must find some answers. That will be a challenge without top receiver Danny Amdenola, though the return of running back Steven Jackson will help.

While most of the focus surrounding the St. Louis Rams' matchup with the Green Bay Packers on Sunday revolves around the question of how the team's undermanned secondary can deal with the Packers' passing attack, part of the equation is having St. Louis' offense move the ball and score points.

To do that will require a healthy Steven Jackson and a passing game that can make up for the loss of wide receiver Danny Amendola for the season.

The Rams need Austin Pettis and/or Greg Salas to start playing as if they're not rookies.

Asked if it's possible to develop the chemistry he had with Amendola with another receiver, quarterback Sam Bradford said, "Yeah, there are a lot of guys. I think everyone that is playing in a slot right now. I think that both of the young guys, I think the more reps that they get, and the more comfortable they become. I think more that they could step into that role and kind of become like what Danny was in terms of the shorter and more intermediate routes. Like I said, it just means with Danny not being back, one of our other guys has to step up."

That's for sure. St. Louis is averaging a league-low 11.5 points per game — less than one third of Green Bay's league-leading 34.6 per game.

Pettis made some plays in the team's Oct. 2 game against Washington, and Bradford said, "I think Pettis and Salas both have made tremendous strides since the beginning of the year. I think, obviously having four weeks for them to go through and see what a season is going to be like and what the game speed is going to be like, I think they've got better each week. They need to continue to do that to help us out."

Acknowledging that Amendola was "a safety valve" for Bradford, coach Steve Spagnuolo said, "Now again, I sound like a broken record, but somebody's got to step up there. Now, the young guys that are in our program now have to step up and go. They haven't had the foundation that Sam and Danny had, with two years or whatever it's been and didn't have OTAs, so it's catch-up. It's get caught up as quick as you can. But hopefully the young guys can step up there and we can be productive in that part of our offense."

Still, Spagnuolo realizes there will be some growing pains with rookies, and he concluded, "Hopefully we're over them, but my guess is we'll probably have a few left here."

As for Jackson, he said he is fully recovered from a strained quad he suffered on the first play of the season opener, when he ran for a 47-yard touchdown.

"I feel great," he said. "Feel back to the point where I'm 100 percent. I'm able to run, cut, spin, do all those things I was able to do a few weeks ago before the injury. I've regained confidence in the leg, so although it was an early bye for us this season, it's kind of right on time for me and getting me back to the place that I want to be."

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