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October 11, 2013

Rams hope Stacy can spark run game

ST. LOUIS — Rams rookie running back Zac Stacy played well enough in his first start to gain coach Jeff Fisher’s trust to start again.

And why not? The Rams topped the 100-yard mark for the first time by rushing for a season-high 143 yards, averaging 4 yards a carry, in beating visiting Jacksonville 34-20. It was the highest total since St. Louis put up 173 yards at Arizona on Nov. 25, 2012.

The 5-foot-8, 214-pound Stacy led the team in rushing yards, registering 78 yards on 14 attempts, a 5.6-yard average. The fifth-round pick had just one carry before the start — a 4-yard gain in the season-opening win over Arizona.

“It felt good to go out there and be consistent and help the team get a win,” Stacy said after practice Thursday. “I’m a guy who takes advantage of opportunities. Whether it’s five carries or 28 carries, I want to make the most of it and put this offense in a position to be successful.”

His yardage was the third highest by a Rams rookie since 2004. Brian Leonard gained 102 yards in 2007 against Arizona and teammate Daryl Richardson picked up 83 yards last year against Washington.

Stacy returned to practice Thursday after sitting out the previous day with sore ribs. He quickly brushed off any injury talk.

“It was precaution thing yesterday. It was nothing serious, just a recovery day,” Stacy said. “I feel great and it’s great to be working. It hurt me more not to be out there practicing.”

Fisher liked what he saw from Stacy against the Jaguars. Stacy ran hard between the tackles. He also blocked well for quarterback Sam Bradford in passing situations.

“He was hitting the hole and he had yards after contact — the violent yards, we refer to them at the running back position,” Fisher said. “He got to what he needed to do in the passing game and I thought in protection he was excellent.”

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