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Notebook 12/19: Stacy Closing In On 1,000-Yard Milestone

Posted Dec 19, 2013

After taking over as the Rams’ starting running back in the season’s fifth game, rookie RB Zac Stacy immediately embarked on a rushing pace among the league’s top backs. Entering the final two games of 2013, Stacy is closing in on the 1,000-yard plateau.

Perhaps most impressive about Stacy’s performance in 2013 has been his ability to maintain, if not exceed, his early-season pace. Stacy’s 133 yards rushing last week against New Orleans were his second-most of the season. His 106 yards in the first half against the Saints established a Rams rookie record.

If he surpassed 1,000 yards in either of the next two games, he would become just the third Rams rookie to eclipse the milestone, joining Eric Dickerson (1,808 yards in 1983) and Jerome Bettis (1,429 in 1993).

Stacy’s teammates have acknowledged the significance of Stacy’s pursuit, particularly given the fact that Stacy entered Week 5 with just one carry for four yards.

“That would be amazing,” QB Kellen Clemens said at his Wednesday press conference. “That would be great. Certainly, the way that we lean on the run game, hopefully it’s possible. Hopefully he gets his carries. But again, we’re going to win however we can win and we’ll let the individual stats kind of play themselves out.”

If the stats continue to play out as they have in recent weeks, Stacy should stand a better than even chance of reaching the mark. In his 10 starts, Stacy is averaging 85 yards per game, and has been limited to fewer than 50 yards just once, in Week 14 against Arizona. He enters Sunday with 854 yards, needing to average just 73 over the next two games to reach 1,000.

“Considering he got a late start,” Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher said, “I think it would be quite a feat, especially against some of the defenses that we faced this year.

News and Notes:

-Rookie LB Alec Ogletree was credited with 13 total tackles Sunday against New Orleans, making it the fourth consecutive game. He enters this week with 134 tackles, just 10 shy of James Laurinaitis’ rookie record, established in 2009

-K Greg Zuerlein has converted 22 of 24 field goal attempts. That conversion rate of 91.7 percent would be the highest by a Rams kicker since Jeff Wilkins connected on 39 of 42 attempts during his Pro Bowl 2003 season.

Injury Report:

Rams:

WR Tavon Austin (ankle) RB Daryl Richardson (thigh), T Mike Person (illness) and LB Will Witherspoon (illness) did not practice. CB Janoris Jenkins (back) was limited.

Buccaneers:

DE Da’Quan Bowers (knee) and G Carl Nicks (foot) did not practice. S Mark Barron (hamstring) was limited. LB Lavonte David (hamstring), WR Vincent Jackson (hamstring), G Davin Joseph (knee) and DT Akeem Spence (wrist) had full participation Thursday.

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