ST. LOUIS (AP) — Danny Amendola refuses to look at his record performance as more than a product of the process.
The St. Louis Rams' fourth-year receiver, who went undrafted out of Texas Tech, had an NFL record-tying 12 first-half receptions Sunday in a 31-28 win over the Washington Redskins.
He finished the game with a team record-tying 15 catches for 160 yards, including a 57 yarder and a touchdown. At one point, he caught five consecutive throws.
"It was just the progressions and kind of what the defense was giving us," he said. "I just happened to be the guy that was open."
Reggie Wayne set the league record with the Colts in 2007.
Amendola's performance didn't come as a surprise to Rams quarterback Sam Bradford. They combined for 85 receptions for 689 yards and three touchdowns in 2010 before a broken arm in the first game ended the receiver's 2011 season.
Bradford said that throughout the preseason and against the Detroit Lions in the season opener, Amendola was finding space when covered one-on-one.
"We knew that we were going to get him the ball," Bradford said. "I'm not sure if we knew that he was going to get that many balls. I said it after the game: He's always a big part of our offense, he'll continue to be a big part of our offense, and if we have the opportunity to get him that many catches, we're definitely going to do so."
Amendola enters as his team's leading receiver with 20 catches for 230 yards, 14 more grabs and 126 more yards than Brandon Gibson. But his presence is all but certain to diminish against the Bears, especially with the return of Austin Pettis following his four-game suspension for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy.
Amendola signed with the Dallas Cowboys out of college and landed on their practice squad in 2008. He was with Philadelphia during the 2009 preseason before being cut and then signed with the Rams in late September. He had 133 catches for 1,060 yards in his career entering this season.
During the offseason he focused on his route running and said the work might be helping.
"I'd like to think so, maybe," he said. "I work on quickness drills all offseason, trying to get in and out of routes, just try to perfect it."
His record performance was enough to erase an inauspicious beginning to the game. On the Rams' first play from scrimmage, Amendola caught the ball and promptly fumbled it. The Redskins picked it up and ran it in for a touchdown.
Coach Jeff Fisher said Amendola's ability to get past the mistake, like his work to recover from his injury last year, proves the receiver's toughness.
"Well, it was the entire effort coming back," Fisher said. "That's hard in the home opener where you've missed, for all intents and purposes, the entire previous season. To come out and first touch, put the ball on the ground and have it returned for a touchdown, that's hard. He just shook it right off and made the point that he's a pretty good receiver."