In my 15 years in the NFL as a front-office executive, I have never seen or heard of one team taking a hit with a slew of injuries in one game like the Rams did Sunday. The face of the franchise, Sam Bradford, suffered what is called a contusion or bruise to the right index finger. When he was asked if he will play Monday night against the Giants, he replied, “I will play Monday.”
Running back Steven Jackson strained his quad on the very first play, bursting 47 yards to paydirt and ran another play on the second series and was done. He worked to refire the muscle while riding the bike on the sideline, but it just didn’t feel right, and honestly could have damaged the quad muscle even more if he played any longer. Jackson is not likely to play against the Giants next Monday night.
Wide receiver Danny Amendola, the leading receiver from 2010, and a player that was off to a good start, dislocated his left elbow and may need surgery. The likelihood of his return if no surgery is needed is several weeks into the 2011 season.
The surprise injury to be announced was cornerback Ron Bartell who was listed after the game with a stinger in his left shoulder. After further tests, he has a “two-level” fracture in his neck. There is a great chance that Bartell will be placed on injured reserve. The team is waiting for news on further test results from a CT scan and MRI, and in my opinion there is a possibility this injury could be career ending.
Other injuries of note: tackle Jason Smith (ankle sprain day/day), cornerback Bradley Fletcher (turf toe) and defensive end C.J. Ah You (wrist issue, will wear a brace). The silver lining is tight end Michael Hoomanawanui, as he will return to practice on Wednesday on a limited basis.
Yes the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at times was a discombobulated mess called confusion which landed them in the loss column. Michael Vick and the other Blue players (playmakers and difference-makers in every game) on the Eagles can make a good team look really bad, lethargic, slow in movement and unconditioned.
As I hear it, prior to the start of the game, fans were in an uproar after the inactive list was announced. The two biggest names involved in the conversations that escalated into high decibels were wide receiver Danario Alexander and first-round pick Robert Quinn.
Not only the fans, but several members of the local media had raised eyebrows and were taken aback with the news that both of these players were inactive against Philadelphia. I can guarantee you Steve Spagnuolo never thought about what the fans might say if he deactivated certain players and the same for the media for that matter. I don’t blame him. He should not second-guess himself or make drastic knee-jerk reactions or changes. However, he should learn from his mistakes and move forward, because there are still 15 games remaining on this schedule.
It’s OK to get pissed off. Forget about the 4-0 preseason. Now is not the time to panic. Stay behind your team. They need to return to the basic fundamentals like Spags has mentioned in the past. Find that inner grit and determination to be great, take care of your business when it comes to blocking, tackling and catching the ball, along with playing mental error-free football.
Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict, controversy and defeat.