Several players are expected back from injuries this week, including middle linebacker James Laurinaitis (pectoral), cornerback Ron Bartell (thigh), defensive end James Hall (hip), tight end Mike Hoomanawanui and defensive end Eugene Sims (concussions) and rookie wide receiver Greg Salas (hamstring). Spagnuolo does not anticipate wide receiver Donnie Avery, coming off knee surgery, will be ready this week.
Injuries at wide receiver have made it tough for the Rams to make a solid assessment among a large group of contenders. Danny Amendola, Sims-Walker and Brandon Gibson are likely set and the team is high on rookies Austin Pettis and Salas.
Avery has been a deep threat when healthy, but missed all last season following knee surgery and has missed a lot of practice time. Danario Alexander had several big games as a deep option last year while also battling injuries.
Spagnuolo said Avery was making progress but still had pain.
“We’d like them all to be healthy,” Spagnuolo said. “Certainly, the only way to evaluate them is to have them out there. Now, when that does happen guys have got to take advantage, and some guys are doing it.”
Cornerback Tae Evans got playing time after being signed earlier in the day to shore up an injury-riddled position.
“You talk about getting thrown in the fire,” Spagnuolo said. “That’s a pretty impressive game, and a willing guy. We’re a little banged-up there.”