The son of a NFL running back, and arriving on a Super Bowl XXXIII Sunday in 1999, it could be said that Ronnie Rivers was born for this.
His father, Ron, spent much of his career in Detroit, backing up Barry Sanders. In fact, the summer after Ronnie was born, the league's four-time leading rusher announced his retirement. And the ensuing 1999 campaign would prove to be Rivers' last as a Lion, as he accumulated a career-best 468 scrimmage yards.
The following spring, the New England Patriots used the 199th selection of the 2000 draft on a prospect out of Michigan who has become the greatest quarterback of all time.
Rivers, a 23-year-old Rams rookie coming off his first NFL start at tailback, quite literally grew up watching Tom Brady. Now he's set to travel to Tampa Bay to face the future Hall of Famer in the twilight of his career (we assume).
The elder Rivers is still the second-leading rusher in Fresno State football history. His son, Ronnie, rewrote the same program's record books in just about every category. The two spar frequently over their collegiate accomplishments.
"Ronnie Rivers for sure. We go back and forth all the time," Ronnie said when asked who the better Bulldog back was. "Any time I'm around my dad, we're always joking about that."
But despite the pedigree, the younger Rivers followed in his father's footsteps in another regard.The path to professionalism for the Rivers men has been as undrafted free agents.
Ronnie did not hear his name called during draft weekend 2022. Instead, he spent the summer with the Arizona Cardinals before being released during training camp. After a short week in Seattle this August, he was without a roster spot until mid-September when Los Angeles signed the former Bulldog to the practice squad.
He's been promoted to the active roster in each of the team's last two contests, in which he's accumulated his first catch, carry, start, win, and defeat – all of which he discusses on this week's Rams Revealed.
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Rivers and the Rams kick off Week 9 against the Bucs on CBS at 1:25 p.m. PST.