RAMS WHO MUST DELIVER…
Cornerback Troy Hill. Part of the reason the Rams cut Coty Sensabaugh was because of Hill’s emergence. With Trumaine Johnson sidelined because of an ankle injury, Hill will return to the starting lineup opposite E.J. Gaines. Hill has made great strides as a cover corner, but Lions quarterback Matt Stafford will no doubt target the replacement.
Kicker Greg Zuerlein. The Rams have leaned heavily on Zuerlein and he has delivered every time. That could be especially important in a game that is essentially regarded as a toss-up ... and for a Rams team that has struggled mightily to score touchdowns from inside the 20.
Quarterback Case Keenum. If Keenum avoids mistakes, the Rams have a chance to be in every game. If multiple passes are intercepted (see Buffalo loss last week) the Rams are in trouble. Last year against the Lions, Keenum completed 14 of 22 passes for 124 yards, with an interception, in a 21-14 victory in Rob Boras’ first game as interim offensive coordinator.
DETROIT LIONS TO WATCH OUT FOR…
Linebacker Tahir Whitehead. He moved to middle linebacker this season and leads the Lions with 46 tackles. With tackle Haloti Ngata sidelined because of a shoulder injury, there will be more pressure on Whitehead to step up and stop Rams back Todd Gurley, who rushed for 140 yards and two scores against the Lions last season.
Receiver Marvin Jones. The former Ontario Etiwanda High and California star has made an immediate impact after signing with the Lions to help offset the loss of Calvin Johnson. Jones is Matthew Stafford’s favorite target. Jones has a team-best 27 receptions and is averaging 19.2 yards per catch. He has scored three touchdowns.
Running back Justin Forsett. He was signed this week, so it might be a longshot for him to play any role. But with Theo Riddick sidelined because of injury, the veteran could get an opportunity. Receiver Golden Tate could also line up again in the backfield. In last week’s victory over Philadelphia, Tate set up a TD with an 11-yard run.
Follow Gary Klein on Twitter @latimesklein