Todd Gurley Becomes First St. Louis Rams RB to Run for 1,000 Yards Since 2012


In a strong effort Thursday evening, Todd Gurley became the first Rams back to run for 1,000 yards in the past three seasons.

During an invigorating 31-23 defeat of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night, St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley became the first Ram to run for 1,000 yards in a season since legendary Ram (and one of Gurley’s heroes) Steven Jackson did it in 2012. After Jackson ran for 1,000 yards every year from his second NFL season, 2005, up until his final season in a Rams uniform, 2012, the Rams had failed to get a rusher to the 1,000-yard mark over the past couple seasons as Daryl Richardson, Zac Stacy, and Tre Mason took charge of the rushing attack.

Gurley wasn’t exactly spectacular in Thursday night’s game; he ran 21 times for 48 yards–just 2.3 yards per carry–but he did score a three-yard touchdown and caught two passes for 31 yards.

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In addition to Gurley’s status as the Rams’ first 1,000-yard rusher in a while, he is also the first rookie to run for 1,000 yards in St. Louis Rams history. It’s especially impressive that he was able to pull off the feat during the Rams’ fourth game of the season, considering that he was inactive for the Rams’ first two games of the season. Even after he returned for Week 3 against the Steelers, he was worked into the offense slowly, receiving just six carries and rushing for nine yards in his NFL debut.

Gurley’s run for over 100 yards in five games this season, and those games have provided the bulk of the yardage that allowed him to become a 1,000-yard rusher as a rookie. He ran for 566 yards in his first four starts, the first of which came in Week 4 against Arizona, and after a few down weeks, he ran for 140 yards and two touchdowns last week against the Detroit Lions.

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If the Rams are officially eliminated from playoff contention with a Seattle Seahawks victory on Sunday, it should be interested to see how Gurley’s workload is monitored over the final two weeks. The Rams have been trying to conserve him a bit throughout the season so that he’s not overworked in his first season off the surgery, and with Tre Mason still in the stable, it’d be easy to back off Gurley somewhat against San Francisco and Seattle.

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Of course, Gurley’s one of the the few Rams who likely has a legitimate chance to see action beyond the end of the regular season. He’s currently third behind Adrian Peterson and Doug Martin in rushing yards among NFC backs, so he’ll be a prime candidate for a spot in the Pro Bowl this coming January.