Technically, it wasn't his NFL debut.
But given how truncated Week 1 was for Kyren Williams, he had every reason to treat Sunday as his first professional football game.
"I took my jersey off, my pads. I was like, 'There's no way I'm giving this back!' This is my first NFL jersey after what happened eight weeks ago. I'm going to keep this. This is my gift to my mom," Williams said of his game-worn number 23.
The rookie running back suffered an ankle injury on the season's first kick return and has been on injured reserve since. He was finally able to debut in the Rams backfield against the Cardinals, playing 16 snaps on offense, taking his first NFL carry for 9 yards and catching all three of his targets for another 30 yards through the air.
"Literally, since I was five years old, she knew what I wanted to do," Williams said of his mother, Taryn, who was in attendance at SoFi Stadium last Sunday. "And I was able to finally accomplish that."
Now that he's found his footing, Williams has the potential for explosive growth within the Rams organization – both in the second half of this season and into the future.
His ambitions include a mastery of Sean McVay's offense and eventually a leadership role within the locker room.
"That's something I can't wait for in my years to come," the 22-year old said on this week's Rams Revealed. "I cannot wait to start talking like Coach McVay, start talking like Matthew, start talking like Coop. It's not English, it's football."
The fifth-round selection out of Notre Dame was known for his football IQ in South Bend, where his Fighting Irish teammates voted him a captain – something he aspires to in the NFL, as well.
"100 percent. And it's nothing that I try to do," Williams said of his leadership style. "It's not like I go out there… try to be the biggest motivator that I can be. No, it's just – bro, when I say I love this game, I really love this game."
That passion is infectious and could be just the jolt the Rams offense needs to snap out of its malaise as they travel to face the Saints in Week 11. In case you need help turning the page to New Orleans, let rookie running back Kyren Williams elevate your week on this edition of Rams Revealed – always available on YouTube and your favorite podcast platforms.