Print and Go Back NFC West [Print without images]

Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Rams get young WR help for Witherspoon

By Mike Sando

Posted by's Mike Sando

The Rams picked up a receiver familiar with their system and got younger in the process.

The price: starting linebacker Will Witherspoon, 29 years old and a bit banged up following the Rams' overtime defeat at Jacksonville.

St. Louis gets Eagles receiver Brandon Gibson, a rookie already familiar with the offense current Rams coordinator Pat Shurmur left in Philadelphia. The Rams also get a 2010 draft choice, believed to be in the fifth round. The Eagles get a terrific team player in Witherspoon. Witherspoon comes out a winner because he won't have to line up against Peyton Manning in Week 7, and now he has a chance at the playoffs.

The Rams aren't fooling anyone here. They are 0-6 and rebuilding. They might not have top receiver Donnie Avery against the Colts this week. Injuries have also affected other Rams receivers, including Laurent Robinson, now on injured reserve.

I thought Witherspoon was the Rams' most impressive defensive player at training camp. He hasn't stood out so much during the regular season. The St. Louis defense is worse for his absence, but with rookie middle linebacker James Laurinaitis emerging and the Rams desperate for help at receiver, the move could make sense.

Gibson, 22, was a sixth-round choice this year. He's 6-foot, 210 pounds, giving him good size. He should have a chance to play right away, given the state of the Rams' receivers. Gibson hasn't caught a pass in a regular-season game.