ST. LOUIS -- It's been a long road back for Brian Quick. The finish line is in sight for the St. Louis Rams wide receiver.
Quick's breakout season in 2014 was cut short by a shoulder injury that the team feared might be career-threatening. The former second-round pick out of Appalachian State was diligent with rehab, and he's expected to return for Week 3 of the preseason Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts.
"There was not even a doubt in my mind," Quick said. "I told coach when I got hurt, 'I'll be back out there.' Every day I'd come and I'm telling myself, 'You've got to get back out there.'"
Quick took off the yellow beanie covering his helmet, signifying hands off, for the first time in practice earlier this week. Running back Todd Gurley, cleared to practice this week, is now wearing a similar beanie.
"He's ready to go," coach Jeff Fisher said of Quick. "It was a tremendous effort considering the news that we got once we examined the shoulder after the Kansas City game, because there was significant damage and there was some question as to whether he would return."
The Rams now have two big bodies for new quarterback Nick Foles to locate in the secondary, with Quick and Kenny Britt both 6-foot-3. Diminutive Tavon Austin, a breakaway threat less likely to play every down, could be the second wide receiver starter this week.
Quick had 25 receptions with an average of 15 yards and three touchdowns, making seven starts, before getting hurt against the Chiefs last fall.
"That was a tough one," general manager Les Snead said. "They call them car-wreck injuries."
The Rams believe Quick can make it all the way back and be an impact player for a franchise that hasn't had a winning record since 2003.
"There's no reason why we would think he's not capable," Fisher said. "He was making a lot of big plays for us. He was in the right place at the right time."
Quick never paid much attention to the dire projections. He just kept his head down and rehabbed.
"Man, he was in here every day," Snead said. "If you ask the trainers about Brian Quick they'll all go, 'All right, that's a man.' You pull for him because he's come a long way."
A healthy Quick improves the outlook of an offense that has struggled mightily in the preseason. The Rams are 0-2 entering Saturday night's game, and the first team has mustered just three points in six possessions.
St. Louis is exceptionally green up front with two rookies and a former backup set to start on the line.
"During the preseason you keep it vanilla, but at the same time you still want to execute," Foles said. "Is the whole playbook in the game? No. But do we need to execute better? Absolutely. That's on us."
Fisher said starters could play the first half, depending on how the game goes. But he thought it unlikely the first string would play in the third quarter, too.
"We just need to focus on the corrections, execution and really just getting into a rhythm," Foles said. "Football is a rhythm game. Just want to keep progressing and get the ball moving."