LONDON (AP) St. Louis Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola is recovering faster than expected from a right shoulder injury, and even thinks there’s an “outside chance” he can play against the Patriots on Sunday.
Amendola returned to practice this week, but was limited both Wednesday and Thursday at the team’s sessions in London. The Rams’ leading receiver this season hurt his shoulder against Arizona on Oct. 4 and was originally expected to miss at least two more games.
However, Amendola said he hasn’t ruled out playing against New England at Wembley.
“It kind of depends on how I feel tomorrow,” Amendola said. “There’s an outside chance I could play. If not, then I’ll just wait another week. We have a bye week next week and it might be smart to sit out, but at the same time I want to play and go from there.”
Amendola showed no visible signs of the injury as he caught passes and punts on Thursday, and said his recovery is going quicker than he anticipated.
“I’m almost there,” he said. “There’s some work to be done, I still need to get some range of motion back and get more comfortable with how I feel. I think I’m going to try to do some more tomorrow and get some more team aspect going into practice instead of just doing individual work.”
Coach Jeff Fisher also didn’t rule out using Amendola on Sunday, but cautioned that the wide receiver was also eager to get back on the field immediately after his injury.
“We’ll have to wait and see how the week goes on,” Fisher said. “He practiced better today. … He’s a competitor, and he loves to play, and we can’t wait to get him back.”
Amendola led the team in receptions (32) and yards (395) before his injury, but Patriots coach Bill Belichick said he doesn’t expect the Rams’ offense to be much different without him.
“I think they still try to do their basic things, they just work around it a little bit,” Belichick said. “I wouldn’t say they’ve changed their offense (without Amendola). He’s a good player, don’t get me wrong, but I think they still try to run their offense. They have real good backs, the running game is obviously really important to them.”
Regardless of whether Amendola plays, quarterback Sam Bradford said it was a boost to the team to have him back on the field in practice.
“Just the guys seeing him out there, knowing that he’s close to coming back, I think he gave everyone a bit of a spark,” Bradford said. “He never wants to miss a play, and you really respect him for that.”