' training camp is just now getting into full swing, and I'm already having to talk myself off the ledge. The reason? The injuries have begun.
Coming into the season, Donnie Avery was supposed to be the Rams' number one receiver. That alone is reason for concern, not because Avery isn't a good receiver (he is, and I think he's going to be really, really good down the road), but because Avery is only in his second season in the NFL. He's got the hands, and he's certainly got the wheels, but a second-year player is still a bit of a question mark.
Now it looks like Avery may not be ready for the start of the season
after suffering a foot injury; he's out four to six weeks, which would put his return right around the start of the season at the earliest. Even if he can play at the beginning of the year, I can't imagine he'll be at full speed.
So what does this mean for the Rams? Well, beyond giving you a sinking feeling that this season, like so many others, is going to be derailed by injuries to key players, we may very well see some of the other Ram wideouts getting a chance to showcase their skills. Personally, I'm hoping to see Brooks Foster
, the Rams' fifth-round draft pick this year
, work his way into some playing time; I saw Foster play a fair amount in college, and I think he's got a ton of upside.
Me, every time bad news comes out about the Rams. Not pictured: sanity.
But what it really means is the Rams are likely going to lean even more heavily on their running game, in the person of one Steven Jackson. And really, that's probably not such a bad thing; Jackson is one of the premier running backs in the NFL, and with a retooled offensive line in front of him, I think he may be poised for a monster season. If anyone can carry this offense, it's probably Jackson.
So how big a blow is Avery being out? Obviously, it isn't ideal, but I certainly think there are worse things that could have happened. One of the O-line Jasons, Smith or Brown, would certainly have been more of a problem, I think. Losing Avery hurts, but I think the Rams can absorb the blow.
Of course, I'm still worried. Hey, it's the Rams. We've seen it before; things just seem to go wrong for this team. And until they prove that was the old Rams, I'm going to keep right on worrying.