Big blow for Rams
By MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency
|Rams' Danny Amendola is tackled by a pair of Cardinals on a punt return Thursday in St. Louis. Amendola later separated his shoulder. (Reuters)
TORONTO - The St. Louis Rams certainly paid a price for their 17-3 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday.
Reports on Friday indicated that Danny Amendola, the team’s top receiver through the first five weeks of the season, is expected to be out at least six weeks with a shoulder separation, leaving veteran Steve Smith and young Austin Pettis to fill his void in the slot.
The Cardinals also were dinged up in that game, with starting running back Ryan Williams having to be helped off the field with a shoulder injury.
n Titans wideout Kenny Britt (ankle) did not practise all week, including Friday, and is not expected to suit up against the Vikings on Sunday ... Wideout Brandon Marshall says he wants to finish his career in Chicago. “I continue to take care of my body, continue to do the right things on and off the field. I think I have a chance to retire as a Bear,” Marshall told ESPN Radio Chicago ... Colts interim coach Bruce Arians is calling on Indy fans to be in full voice and not allow visiting Green Bay supporters to turn Lucas Oil Stadium into a Packer home game on Sunday. “We cannot allow the Cheeseheads to come in here and take over,” Arians said. A large contingent of Packer fans are expected to make the six hour drive from Green Bay down to Indy ... The Colts will be shorthanded against the Packers. On Friday, cornerback Vontae Davis (ankle) and linebacker Pat Angerer (foot) were ruled out for the game. Defensive end Dwight Freeney (ankle) will be a game-time decision.
FINS SOLD ON HARTLINE
After battling some frightening off-season health issues, Brian Hartline’s big numbers on the stat sheet could result in some bigger numbers on his paycheque.
According to NFL.com, preliminary discussions have started between Hartline and the Miami Dolphins for a contract extension, a reward for a kid who has emerged as the team’s top wide receiver.
Hartline, a pending free agent, broke the Dolphins’ single-game mark for receiving yardage when he hooked up with rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill for 253 receving yards in a crushing overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals this past Sunday. For a franchise that has featured star wideouts such as Paul Warfield, Mark Duper and Mark Clayton over the years, it was a very impressive feat indeed.
What makes Hartline’s story even more remarkable is the fact that he had his appendix removed during the offseason. Accompanying complications caused him to shed 25 pounds during a hospital stay that lasted 12 days.
“From what I went through, there was a point I didn’t know if I’d even play in the first game,” Hartline told NFL.com.
Entering Week 5, not only is Hartline playing, he’s doing it at an elite level. And, after what he’s been through, he deserves a raise.
GIVING THE GATOR SOMETHING TO CHEW ON
Will Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray be flagged by the NFL for sticking his foot in his mouth?
According to ESPN, the league is reviewing comments made by Grey suggesting his players must compete aggressively without being concerned about the consequences, even if it results in opponents being carted off the field.
“If you are worrying about that, you are not going to go out and try and blow the guy up,” Gray told The Tennessean this week. “Great football players have to put that out of their mind. You have to say, ‘This is my territory between the numbers, and if you throw the football you better bring the Gator truck.’ And that’s how you have to play. You can’t play timid in the NFL.”
The Gator is the cart used to take injured players off the field.
Subsequently contacted by ESPN, Gray admitted having regrets in how he phrased his feelings.
“This is football, but my choice of words under the circumstances was probably bad,” Gray said. “If I could take that part of it back, I would.
“I don’t want guys thinking about injuring people.”
Keep in mind that Gray coached under Gregg Williams with the Titans, Bills and Redskins. Williams, of course, is suspended indefinitely by the league for his role in the Saints Bounty Gate affair.
A BANNER DAY KANSAS CITY
Kansas City fans are so bitter with the moribund Chiefs these days, they are looking up to the sky for divine intervention.
As a result, when the assembled throng at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday peers above at the heavens an hour or two before kickoff against the Baltimore Ravens, they will see a plane towing a biting message aimed at beleaguered Chiefs management types.
“We deserve better! Fire Pioli — Bench Cassel,” the banner will read.
The endeavour was spearheaded by one disgruntled Chiefs supporter who raised more than $1,600 to fly the banner. The idea, which first sprouted on a Chiefs message board,ChiefsPlanet.com, has snowballed since then, with several local television stations picking up on the story.
The Chiefs are 1-3 and have been thrashed in losses to the Falcons, Bills and Chargers, leaving the normally rabid Arrowhead spectators targeting their wrath at quarterback Matt Cassel and GM Scott Pioli, the man who brought in Cassel in the first place.