ST. LOUIS — Fumbling on the first play wasn't the way that wide receiver Danny Amendola wanted to start the St. Louis Rams' game against the Washington Redskins on Sunday afternoon.
Fortunately, for the Rams, Amendola recovered quickly, tying an NFL record with 12 receptions in the first half.
Indianapolis' Reggie Wayne also had 12 catches in the first half of the Colts' game against the Tennessee Titans on Dec. 30, 2007.
"That was not easy, but Danny was determined to right that wrong," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said of Amendola, who ended up with 15 receptions for 160 yards and a touchdown in the Rams' 31-28 win over the Redskins.
On the Rams' first play from scrimmage, Amendola caught a short pass, but then had the ball poked loose from behind by Washington's Perry Riley.
Cornerback Josh Wilson picked up the ball and ran 30 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 Redskins lead.
"It was a very unfortunate play," Amendola said. "I didn't do a good job of securing the ball, and six points their way is what there was to show for it. I wasn't very happy about it, and I'm still not happy about it. I have to learn from it and get better."
The Rams went right back to Amendola on four straight plays when they got the ball back. He was targeted 13 times by Rams quarterback Sam Bradford in the first half.
"We came back to the sideline, and that's the first thing I said to him," Bradford said. "I said, 'I'm coming right back to you.' Just because he does that, there's no way I'm going to stop throwing the ball.
"When he gets open the way he does and makes plays with the ball in his hands, he's going to see a lot of targets."
Amendola said he appreciated Bradford's and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's confidence in him.
"It was definitely big for me," Amendola said. "I was definitely down on myself after the fumble."
Even before the game, Bradford had a feeling Amendola might have a big afternoon.
"We knew going into the week that were going to get him the ball, just with some of the things we were doing with the game plan," Bradford said. "He came out, he played great today. I think it says a lot about him. After the first play, he didn't get down, he came back and had one of the best halves I've ever seen from a wide receiver."
Saffold makes early exit
Rodger Saffold started at left tackle just one week after being carted off the field with a neck injury that was diagnosed as a strain in the Rams' season opener.
Saffold didn't fare any better in Week 2. He needed help to walk off the field after sustaining a knee injury in the first quarter.
Saffold was hurt on a play where Bradford fumbled after being sacked by Brian Orakpo.
Saffold picked up the loose ball and advanced it 7 yards before being tackled by Washington's DeAngelo Hall.
Saffold was replaced Wayne Hunter, who left the game briefly with an ankle injury later in the game. Ty Neskhe, claimed off waivers from the Colts on Sept. 2, took Hunter's place until he returned to action.
The Rams' inactives were quarterback Austin Davis, safety Darian Stewart, running back Terrance Ganaway, defensive tackles Matthew Conrath and Michael Brockers and guards Shelley Smith and Rokevious Watkins.
* Rams defensive end Robert Quinn registered his second sack of the season when he tackled Washington quarterback Robert Griffin for a 9-yard loss on third down in the first quarter.
* According to press box statistics, linebacker James Laurinaitis led the Rams with 10 tackles.
* Former Rams wide receiver Torry Holt received a loud ovation when he was introduced to the crowd during the first quarter. Holt performed the Bob 'n Weave -- Rams' old touchdown celebration performed it was outlawed by the NFL -- in the end zone.
Contact reporter Steve Korte at email@example.com or 239-2522.