Sunday, November 11, 2012
Rams' Givens, Jenkins face hard lessons
By Mike Sando
SAN FRANCISCO -- Chris Givens and Janoris Jenkins might look back on Sunday as a turning point in their young professional lives.
Perhaps they'll call it the day coach Jeff Fisher's harsh discipline refocused them as the NFL's figurative rookie wall approached.
Fisher named both players inactive for the Rams' game against San Francisco because they violated team rules, according to the team.
Losing Givens for the game subtracts from the Rams' offense the team's most formidable big-play threat. Givens has a reception of 50-plus yards in a rookie-record five consecutive games. Jenkins, the Rams' starting right cornerback, had been struggling lately following a fast start to the season.
These demotions weaken the Rams. The 49ers should have an easier time defending Rams receiver Danny Amendola on shorter routes now that the Rams are lacking a weapon with the speed to test them deep.
Losing Jenkins would have hurt more against some other opponents. The 49ers tend to use two tight ends and/or two backs frequently, putting less stress on opposing teams' cornerbacks. However, the 49ers' receivers are coming off a memorable performance featuring three touchdown receptions and 107 yards after the catch during a 24-3 victory at Arizona.
Bradley Fletcher will start at right corner. Fletcher, Cortland Finnegan and rookie Trumaine Johnson are the Rams' corners for this game.
Amendola will start at receiver opposite Brandon Gibson. The Rams also have left tackle Rodger Saffold in their lineup. A knee injury had kept him out.