Mardy Gilyard's NFL career didn't exactly begin with a flourish.
He expected to be taken on the opening couple of days of the draft, when the first two rounds were selected; instead, he went to the Rams on Day 3, in the fourth round.
Then a nagging wrist injury hampered him during training camp, followed by an illness that kept him out of a couple of practices.
Gilyard has been playing catch-up ever since.
The 5-foot-11, 194-pound Gilyard was limited to kick-return duties in the first two games before being worked slowly into the offense the last three. He has five catches for 42 yards on the season.
But now, with Mark Clayton last Sunday becoming the most recent of three Rams wideouts to suffer a season-ending knee injury, Gilyard is being counted on to come front and center as the Rams prepare for Sunday's home game against San Diego.
An animated Gilyard expressed his determination to produce for his teammates.
"Through misfortunes, it's my turn now. And I do not want to let any of these guys down," he said. "I do not want to let James Hall down, I do not want to let Chris Long down, I do not want to let Steven Jackson down, I don't want to let Sam (Bradford) down, I don't want to let Brandon Gibson down, Donnie Avery, Mark Clayton, Dominique Curry."