After missing out on all the fun in the Rams’ 38-8 blowout win in Indianapolis, tight end Lance Kendricks is again ready for action.
Kendricks was inactive for the game with the Colts after suffering a fractured finger while trying to come up with a diving catch in the end zone during a 28-21 loss to the visiting Tennessee Titans on Nov. 3.
But thanks to a little extra healing time during the bye week, the 6-foot-3, 247-pound Kendricks is back at practice and looking forward to Sunday’s noon game with the Chicago Bears at the Edward Jones Dome.
Kendricks was not listed on the Rams’ first injury report of the week.
“I’ll play with a small splint on it, but other than that, I should be fine,’’ the 25-year-old said following Wednesday’s practice at Rams Park. “The week off helped alleviate some of the pain and probably helped heal it a little bit. I thought it’d be more painful at this point, but it really hasn’t affected me much at all in practice.
“I’ve been keeping it on ice and getting treatment every day, so it’s feeling a lot better. Just something I’m going to have to deal with.’’
In 2012, Kendricks set career marks with 42 catches, 519 yards and four touchdowns. He missed practice time following offseason knee surgery but had been coming on prior to the finger injury as an accomplished blocker in the Rams’ improved ground game and as a receiver with 23 catches for 172 yards and three touchdowns.
“Lance is a solid player,’’ Rams quarterback Kellen Clemens said. “The thing that has, I think, been maybe under-appreciated with Lance this year is how much he has improved his route-running ability. Really a lot of progress made on his part over the offseason and it’s showing up. Plus, he’s lights out in the run game, blocking, protection and stuff. He gives us a double threat at that position and we’re excited to have him back.’’
A Milwaukee native and University of Wisconsin product, Kendricks is no fan of the Bears.
“I grew up in a Packer household,’’ he pointed out.
Four players — guard Harvey Dahl (knee), cornerback Cortland Finnegan (eye), running back Chase Reynolds (knee) and quarterback Brady Quinn (back) — sat out practice and were listed on the team’s initial injury report of the week.
Safeties Darian Stewart (foot) and Matt Giordano (thigh) were limited in Wednesday’s workout.
For the Bears, quarterback Jay Cutler and linebacker Lance Briggs have been ruled out, with starting nose tackle Stephen Paea (toe), reserve safety Craig Steltz (concussion) and reserve cornerback Isaiah Frey (hand) also sitting out practice on Wednesday.
Starting right tackle Jordan Mills (quadriceps) and reserve defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (groin) were limited while starting left defensive end Shea McClellin (hamstring) and long snapper Patrick Manelly (calf) were full participants in Wednesday’s practice.
Former Rams defensive tackle D’Marco Farr and ex-Mizzou and Big Red wide receiver Mel Gray were among the 15 inducted into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday night. Farr, who now does TV and radio work locally, played for the Rams from 1994-2000, was selected to the 1999 Pro Bowl and was a key member of the Rams’ Super Bowl squad following the 1999 season.
• Two players with local ties, Bears defensive end David Bass (University City) and Broncos running back Montee Ball (Timberland), are among the nominees for the Pepsi Next NFL Rookie of the Week.
The Rams’ Tavon Austin captured the honor last week.
Ball, a University of Wisconsin product, scored a pair of touchdowns of 1 and 8 yards as Denver defeated Kansas City 27-17 Sunday night, handing the Chiefs their first loss of the season.
Bass, who played at Missouri Western, recorded four tackles and returned a second-quarter interception 24 yards for a touchdown in Chicago’s 23-20 overtime win over the defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens. Bass was picked up off waivers after being cut by the Raiders, who selected him in the seventh round of last April’s draft.
The other nominees are quarterbacks — Tampa Bay’s Mike Glennon, Buffalo’s E.J. Manuel and Oakland’s Matt McGloin.
Fans can vote until 2 p.m. Friday at www.NFL.com/Rookies.