Losing TE would be problem for Rams

The St. Louis Rams have shrugged off concerns over their wide receivers in part because they felt so good about their tight ends.

One of those tight ends, Mike Hoomanawanui, had ankle problems last season and missed eight games.

Now a calf injury has the Rams worried. Coach Steve Spagnuolo called the injury a sprain initially and said the team was ordering additional tests. Hoomanawanui had recently returned from a concussion.

"It may be significant, not sure," Spagnuolo told reporters Monday. "We're a little concerned there."

Losing Hoomanawanui for any length of time would make it tougher for the Rams to maximize their two-tight end packages featuring rookie Lance Kendricks.

The Rams think Hoomanawanui and Kendricks are good enough at receiving and blocking to force difficult choices upon opposing defenses. Teams that left their base defensive units on the field would have a harder time matching up in coverage. Teams that subbed out a linebacker would be more vulnerable to Steven Jackson's running.

Also for the Rams, receiver Danario Alexander missed practice after experiencing discomfort in his surgically repaired knee. Alexander has had five surgeries on his left knee. The chronic nature of his knee injury stands as an obvious consideration when the Rams make difficult decisions on roster spots at receiver.