ST. LOUIS (AP) — Zac Stacy has a good chance at reaching 1,000 yards rushing after a big game against the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints probably thought they'd seen the last of the St. Louis Rams rookie running back early in the first quarter after he was helped off the field by two trainers and listed as questionable for the rest of the game with a hip injury.
Instead, the Saints had to chase down Stacy for the rest of the game. He had 133 yards with career highs of 28 carries and a 40-yard touchdown run.
"Questionable? Nah, I was never questionable," Stacy said.
"I was always coming back. I just took a shot. Healed it up, fixed it up for me and went back out there."
Stacy and defensive end Robert Quinn, who had two sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and two hits, gave the Rams (6-8) stars on both sides of the ball in the 27-16 victory that was not nearly as close as the score indicated.
Coach Jeff Fisher said Quinn, who leads the NFC with 15 sacks, should be a contender for NFL defensive player of the year.
"I don't know of any other defensive player that's playing as consistently as well as he is," Fisher said Monday. "Ask Drew Brees."
Stacy is a surprise star on offense and had a huge bounce-back game against the Saints, setting a franchise rookie record with 106 yards in the first half.
He's tied for ninth in the NFC with 854 yards, along with a 4.2-yard average and six TDs. The previous week, Stacy was held to just 25 yards on just 14 carries.
"He never takes negative runs," quarterback Kellen Clemens said. "If it's there, he hits it. If it's not there, he creates a hole.
"It's easy to dial up runs as an offensive coordinator when you have that type of mentality coming from your backfield."
Steven Jackson posted his eighth straight 1,000-yard season last year before taking a free agent deal with the Falcons.
Stacy, a fifth-round pick and the 160th overall selection after setting the career rushing record at Vanderbilt, took over as a starter in Week 5 after Daryl Richardson was sidelined with a foot injury.
The 5-foot-8, 216-pound Stacy and fellow rookie backup Bennie Cunningham, 5-foot-10 and 217 pounds, are physical players in smaller packages — about 20 pounds lighter than Jackson.