Sam Bradford and Danny Amendola accounted for 395 of the St. Louis Rams' 1024 passing yards through the first five weeks of the 2012 season. 395. With Danny Amendola injured, that leaves 39 percent of the Rams' passing game up for grabs—and with Steve Smith inactive for the last two weeks, that leaves a number of young wide receivers ready to scramble for them. Austin Pettis, Brian Quick, and Chris Givens are the contestants—with young Lance Kendricks lurking for the security-blanket stuff Amendola perfected in 2010.
Austin Pettis is the dark horse of the group, having gotten off to a slow start last year and missing the first part of this one under suspension, but he might be best-positioned to succeed. He's impressed in limited playing time in 2012, during which he seems already to have grasped the offense better than Quick, and he's a better possession receiver than Givens.
Among this year's rookies, Givens has already impressed in a limited way—he's caught 50-yard passes in each of the last two games, with Week 5's ending in a big fourth-quarter touchdown. But he's caught just four balls in 15 pass attempts, so he seems like an unlikely answer to the Amendola question; he'll remain nothing but a home run threat for at least a while longer.
Quick is the enigma: He started the season inactive, and he's been targeted all of five times, catching one ball for 19 yards. He's supposed to be a possible No. 1 receiver for a Rams team that hasn't had one since Torry Holt left. But the Rams haven't reaped the benefits yet, and Amendola's injury probably won't push up the timeline too much.