Rookie will start at running back on Sunday

Updated: October 22, 2003, 6:53 PM ET

ST. LOUIS -- Rookie Arlen Harris will start at running back on Sunday for the St. Louis Rams, even though there's a chance Lamar Gordon could play and Marshall Faulk could return from a broken hand and knee surgery.

Harris had 85 yards on 18 carries and a 3-yard touchdown run in last week's 34-24 victory over the Packers. He played most of the game after Gordon, the backup to Faulk, sustained a high ankle sprain in the first quarter.

"I'm excited for Arlen, I think he'll do a terrific job," coach Mike Martz said Wednesday. "This is a great opportunity for us and for him."

Harris lost the punt returning job earlier this season after costly fumbles in two consecutive games. But Martz never gave up on him.

Faulk, who has missed three games plus the bye week since being injured on Sept. 21, returned to practice on Wednesday but was late after attending a funeral. He participated on a limited basis and if he's activated on Sunday against the Steelers it likely would be on an emergency-only basis.

"He just took a few reps to get used to moving around a little bit," Martz said. "He'll take a little bit more tomorrow and see where he is and we'll just kind of go from there."

Martz said Gordon likely won't attempt to practice until Friday. Gordon said he was still having trouble pushing off on his injured left ankle.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index