In three seasons at West Virginia University Stedman Bailey caught 210 passes including 114 for 1622 yards and 25 touchdowns last season alone.
In four games with the Rams the rookie wide receiver has yet to have a pass thrown his way — at least not by a quarterback. Bailey’s only chance to catch a pass came last Sunday in Dallas on a fake punt early in the first quarter.

“It actually felt good just to get an opportunity to catch a ball” Bailey said. “We really didn’t execute it the way we wanted to.”

Lined up as a gunner on the outside of punt formation Bailey ran a pass route over the middle but punter Johnny Hekker had to pump fake because Dallas defensive end DeMarcus Ware was in his face. That threw off the timing of the play and Hekker’s pass was high and incomplete.

“If he was able to hit me when I made my move to come out of my break it probably would’ve been a big play you know first down for sure” Bailey said.

Instead it was a missed opportunity in what has been a season of missed opportunities so far for the 1-3 Rams.

“We’ll work on it and get it right next time” Bailey said.

Just when Bailey gets a “next time” to catch a football remains to be seen. Through four games the third-round draft pick has been on the field for only four plays with the offense — all against Atlanta in Game 2. Bailey wasn’t targeted on any of those four plays.

Otherwise he has been used exclusively on special teams this season. The Rams kept only five wide receivers on their 53-man roster heading into the season the so-called “Big Five” of Chris Givens Tavon Austin Austin Pettis Brian Quick and Bailey. During the preseason coach Jeff Fisher said on a couple of occasions that all five would play.

But that hasn’t happened to this point as far as Bailey is concerned. Earlier this month Fisher was asked if he wanted to get Bailey more involved.

“From an offensive standpoint yes of course” Fisher said. “He’ll get his opportunity. But he’s really done a nice job on special teams for us. He’s playing on two or three of the (special) teams and he’s making plays for us. So it’s good to see.”

Bailey has participated in 59 special teams play so far this season or an average of about 15 a game. But you don’t draft a player in the third round No. 92 overall just to run down punts and kickoffs.

“It’s hard to get five guys going” offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said recently. “When called upon he’ll be ready to go.”

During the preseason Bailey caught five passes for 78 yards tying for third on the team in receptions. It has been tough not playing but his attitude remains good.

“It’s kind of frustrating for me coming from a place where you’re THE guy” Bailey said. “You come to a place (the NFL) where all of THE guys from whatever school they played are here with you. It’s a game of patience for me. I’ll just continue to work hard each and every day.

“I know at some point this season I’ll get in and make something happen. It’s a long season and I’ve just got to stay on my job and keep working hard.”

Bailey was asked if the coaching staff has told him what in particular might be keeping him from the field.