ST. LOUIS — Todd Gurley didn’t find much running room in the St. Louis Rams' 31-23 win over the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night, but he found just enough to reach a milestone and make some history.
The Rams running back carried 21 times for 48 yards and a touchdown and surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for his rookie season, becoming the first Rams running back to hit that mark since Steven Jackson rushed for 1,045 yards in 2012.
“It means a lot,” Gurley said, “but at the end of the day, credit to the O-line, to the receivers, tight ends, for blocking for me.”
The No. 10 overall pick in the 2015 Draft, Gurley now ranks third in the NFL in rushing yards behind Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin (1,305) and Minnesota Vikings' standout Adrian Peterson (1,251). The Rams rookie now has nine touchdowns.
“He got a late start as we all know,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. “Everybody knows we’re going to run it and he still got 1,000. That speaks volumes for him. He pass protects, he gets out and catches the football and keeps drives alive as well.
“As we said way back in April, we’re drafting Todd to be our future. I didn’t anticipate he was going to play as early as he did, but knew once he got going, he’d be productive. We got two weeks left.”
Gurley’s accomplishment also added him to the franchise record book as he became just the third Rams rookie to reach that mark, joining a pair of Hall of Famers.
Eric Dickerson ran for 1,808 yards as a rookie back in 1983. Then Jerome Bettis rushed for 1,429 yards in 1993. Now Gurley sits at 1,023 yards with two more games remaining.
“It feels good,” Gurley said. “Like I said, it’s a big accomplishment. But it’ll be something you look back at down the road.”