Dec 16, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams tight end Lance Kendricks (88) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings free safety Harrison Smith (22) during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. Minnesota defeated St. Louis 36-22. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
By Howard Balzer for KSDK Sports
*Tight end Lance Kendricks said he has been ready to practice and play for about two weeks, but was held back as a precaution. "It worked out good," Kendricks said after practice. The Rams will use a lot of two-tight end sets as well as at least three wide receivers.
*Safety Matt Daniels thought he merely jammed his thumb in the final preseason game against Baltimore. But Daniels has a cast on the lower part of his right arm because of torn ligaments at the base of the thumb. However, he said he will able to play Sunday. Safety Matt Giordano returned to practice after missing significant time because of a calf injury.
*Guard Chris Williams worked with the first unit and is likely to be the starter Sunday after winning the competition with Shelley Smith.
*Rookie running back Bennie Cunningham is listed on the team's depth chart as the No. 1 kickoff returner.
*Wide receiver Tavon Austin will be making his regular-season debut, and quarterback Sam Bradford said he's been impressed with Austin's work ethic. Asked what's impressed him, Bradford said, "Just his maturity as far as understanding what we're asking him to do on certain plays and certain routes. I think, obviously, when he first got here, he was still just trying to learn the concepts and learn the routes - basically general guidelines as to where he's supposed to be and what he was supposed to run.
"But, I think he's starting to understand the finer points of the offense and of the routes that he's running. He came up to me at practice a couple times today and talked to me about small adjustments verse different coverages that they showed us. And that shows a lot to me because we haven't had those conversations before. I think it's really great to see something like that happen."
*Bradford, by the way, was experiencing obvious congestion, evident in his voice when he talked to the media after practice Wednesday. Bradford said it started last Friday and has been "brutal," but he noted, "I'm getting better."
*Defensive end Chris Long practiced Wednesday and said he feels fine. Long was limited near the end of the preseason for what was said to be tweaked knee. Said Long, "My health is awesome. I'm looking forward to Sunday; I felt good out there today. In camp, you can get some nicks and you just have to play through them. Coach has done a good job of taking care of me. That stuff's in the past and I'm feeling really good."
*Figure this one out: Rookie tackle Sean Hooey was signed to the practice squad even though he's not able to practice. Hooey hadn't practiced for a while because of a calf injury, but he was waived Saturday despite being injured. He is wearing a boot on his left leg that extends close to his knee.
Fisher on the team's youth: "We're young, but that's not an excuse as far as what takes place on Sundays. ... These are young men. They're not kids, and they're going to be ready to play."
Howard Balzer will be contributing to KSDK Sports throughout the 2013 season. Howard hosts PrimeTime Monday-Friday from 6-8 pm on CBS Sports 920, and Pro Football Sunday pre- and post-game shows on 590 the Man. He is also a host on SiriusXM NFL radio and one of 44 selectors for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.