Steelers-Rams Preview

The Pittsburgh Steelers are about to add the NFL's second-leading rusher from a year ago to complement the league's current second-best rusher.

The St. Louis Rams are still waiting on the debut of rookie running back Todd Gurley.

Le'Veon Bell will make his season debut Sunday for the Steelers when they visit a Rams team that has struggled against the run.

Pittsburgh's DeAngelo Williams has 204 yards on the ground but he will likely give way to Bell, who returns from a two-game suspension following his arrest on DUI and marijuana charges last August.

Bell, who was second in the league with 1,361 yards in 2014, trimmed his body fat to 4 percent during the offseason. He adds a different dimension after leading all running backs with 854 yards receiving last year.

''I'm going to play Le'Veon Bell,'' coach Mike Tomlin said. ''We'll figure that out (the workload) as we go. If 26 (Bell) is available to us, we're going to use him.''

Gurley, the first running back chosen in the first round in three years and No. 10 overall selection in 2015, has yet to play following knee surgery. He worked with the first-team offense last week and looks close to getting on the field, though coach Jeff Fisher was non-committal on the issue.

''He's excited and we'll just see what happens,'' Fisher said.

The coach wasn't excited about what he saw in last Sunday's 24-10 loss at Washington, which rushed for 182 yards. The St. Louis run defense is ranked third-worst, allowing an average of 153.0 yards.

Opposing quarterbacks have an 80.9 completion percentage against St. Louis for the league's second-highest mark.

''Pressure is the key to stopping any quarterback,'' Fisher said. ''You have to minimize gains and you have to make plays and hope he throws a few incompletions.''

Now the Rams (1-1) must face a Pittsburgh offense averaging a league-best 469.0 yards, with Ben Roethlisberger second in the NFL with 720 passing yards. Roethlisberger was 21 of 27 for 369 yards and three scores in Sunday's 43-18 win over San Francisco.

Roethlisberger will look to find Antonio Brown, who has a league-best 328 yards receiving after he fell a yard short of his career high with 195 and a touchdown against the 49ers.

Pittsburgh (1-1) is third in the league with 32.0 points per game and second in third-down percentage at 52.0.

The Steelers are so explosive that Tomlin opted to go for two-point conversions on their first two scores last weekend. That's a trend that will likely continue, though not because it gives Pittsburgh a psychological advantage.

"I really don't think about the psychological element of it," Tomlin said. "I said that we were going to be aggressive in that area if we felt it could help us. We worked it. The guys have shown an aptitude for it. We are going to use it from time to time at our discretion."

The Rams are tied for second in the NFL with eight sacks - 2.5 by Aaron Donald, a Pittsburgh native and former Pitt star. Last season's defensive rookie of the year will face the Steelers for the first time.

"It's going to be pretty cool," Donald said. "I grew up watching them guys, been watching Big Ben since I was young and seeing him take them to a Super Bowl so I have an opportunity to play against them but I'm still going out there trying to win."

St. Louis was held to 213 yards last weekend for the league's second-lowest total this year. Nick Foles was 17 of 32 for 150 yards and one TD.

The Rams' offense has hardly been dynamic since Foles ranks last in the NFL in percentage of pass attempts to receivers (40.7) and percentage of completions to them (34.3).

These teams feature two of the league's most productive linebackers. The Rams' Alec Ogletree is tied for the NFL lead with 23 total tackles while the Steelers' Ryan Shazier is right behind him at 22.

Although the Rams did not have a sellout in their first home game and a large contingent of Steelers fans are expected, Pittsburgh is preparing for crowd noise on the road.

"We're playing them at their place," Tomlin said. "I've been in their place a bunch over the years, it's a special environment."