Rams’ Todd Gurley to make NFL debut versus Steelers


Game day is here and the wait for St. Louis Rams rookie running back Todd Gurley is over. Gurley is listed as active today agains the Pittsburgh Steelers and you couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to make a debut. The Rams offense is sputtering at the moment, and inserting Gurley into the lineup may be just what the doctor ordered.

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Gurley will enter what has been a running back by committee so far in 2015. Three running backs, a wide receiver and a quarterback have all recorded rushing yards for the Rams this year. The leading rusher has been wide out Tavon Austin. Benny Cunningham has produced more as a pass catcher than rusher and Tre Mason had a very forgetful debut last week in Washington. Gurley won’t take on a full load today, but all eyes will be on this special player as he will certainly be a welcomed addition in the back field.

According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Gurley will get between 6 and 26 touches depending on the flow of the game. Tre Mason will remain the starter. It’s difficult to take much of anything away from that, but it’s a good sign the coaching staff would be willing to give Gurley that many touches in his debut.

Other Rams’ inactives include; quarterback Sean Mannion, running back Isaiah Pead, running back Chase Reynolds, offensive lineman Andrew Donnal, offensive lineman Cody Wichmann, wide receiver Brian Quick and defensive end Eugene Sims.

Sep 13, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley during warm up before the game between the St. Louis Rams and the Seattle Seahawks at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Steeler’s inactives include; quarterback Landry Jones, cornerback Cortez Allen, linebacker Ryan Shazier, defensive tackle Daniel McCullers, offensive lineman Chris Hubbard, tight end Jesse James and defensive end Caushaud Lyons.

A few of those players jump out for both teams. St. Louis wide receiver Brian Quick has now been declared inactive for three straight weeks. Head coach Jeff Fisher recently noted it was not due to health reasons, but more roster space issues. Rams fans can breathe easy this afternoon as running back Isaiah Pead will be sitting out. Defensive end Eugene Sims is still recovering from a knee injury suffered in Week 1 against Seattle and it seems progress is slow.

For Pittsburgh, the loss of linebacker Ryan Shazier will certainly be felt on the defensive side of the ball. Adding insult to injury, no pun intended, is the absence of cornerback Cortez Allen. A team that has already given up eight passing touchdowns to opposing offenses will be lacking some thump this afternoon.

For the Steelers, it’s not so much about who won’t be playing this afternoon as much as it is about who will be playing. Running back Le’Veon Bell returns form his two-game suspension to face a Rams defense that allowed 182 rushing yards last week in Washington. Bell is one of the most dynamic backs in the league and adds an entirely new dimension to already lethal offense in Pittsburgh. The Rams will have their hands full trying to contain Bell.

The St. Louis Rams go for win number two this afternoon at the Edward Jone Dome. The game is slated for a 1pm ET start and should be an exciting matchup. The high powered Steelers offense meets the vaunted Rams defense. One will come out on top.