Football PRO John Ryan said management decided to give the Newcastlewest player a rest: "It has been non-stop for Stephen over the last few months and though he is not carrying an injury, it was felt best to give him a break."
He is replaced by former hurler Mike O'Brien, his first start in the League. Otherwise, the team is the same as that which beat Wexford in their last outing, with Maurice Horan holding onto the number 13 shirt.
Midfielder John Galvin, who has been out with injury and was introduced as a substitute against Wexford, is again on the bench, as is Michael Reidy.
The Limerick selectors have included Stephen Lucey at centre-back even though he will be involved in Fitzgibbon Cup action prior to the trip to Galway.
The Clare team to play Offaly in Tullamore on Sunday shows three changes from that which beat Leitrim last time out.
Christy Kirwan is recalled to left corner-back after suspension in place of Dara Blake; Ronan Slattery is preferred to Noel Griffin at left half-back while Michael O'Shea comes in at right half-forward for Ger Quinlan.
The counties last met in the All-Ireland qualifier in 2003 at Cusack Park where Offaly won out.
Longford, who travel to Mayo, have left the full- back position vacant because of an injury doubt surrounding Cathal Conefrey. However left corner- back Dermot Brady has been given the nod to make his first league appearance while Jamesie Martin is preferred to Niall Sheridan at right corner-forward.
Tipperary have made five changes to their team to play Louth. Paul Fitzgerald takes over in goal from Philly Ryan. Damien Byrne fills in at full-back for the suspended Sean Collum, with Cian Maher coming in at right half-back.
Micheal Webster and Liam England are named at right and left half-forward respectively, with Fergal O'Callaghan and James Williams dropping to the bench.
Laois, in need of points following a dismal start, have delayed selection of their team to play Meath until tonight, but a definite non-starter is Darren Rooney, who had keyhole surgery this week on a torn cartilage.
(SF v Galway): S O'Donnell; M O'Riordan, J McCarthy, T Stack, P Browne, S Lucey, D Reidy; J Quane, J Carroll; M O'Brien, M Gavin, C Mullane, M Horan, J Murphy, O Keating.
(SF v Waterford): B Gillis; S M Lockhart, N McCusker, K Mc Cloy; R Lynch, K McGuckin, F Mc Eldowney; F Doherty, E Muldoon; F McEldowney, C Gilligan, C Moran; P Bradley, G McGonigle, C Mullan.
(SF v Longford): J Healy; D Geraghty, P Kelly, G Ruane; F Costello, G Mullins, J Nallen; B Ruane, R McGarrity; M Moyle, B Joe Padden, E Gallagher; M McNicholas, A O'Malley, D Munnelly.
(SF v Offaly): D O'Brien; P Gallagher, C Whelan, C Kirwan; P Smyth, B Considine, R Slattery; D O'Sullivan, J Moody; M O'Shea, E Coughlan, David Russell; Denis Russell, O O'Dwyer, K Considine.
(SF Mayo): D Sheridan; S Carroll, AN Other, D Brady; E Ledwith, D Hanniffy, S Lynch; L Keenan, F Coyle; T Mullen, D Blessington, P Barden; J Martin, P Davis, D Barden.
(SF v Louth): P Fitzgerald; D Hahessy, D Byrne, L Cronin; C Maher, R Costigan, N Fitzgerald; E Hanrahan, K Mulryan; M Webster, A Fitzgerald, L England; G Burke, D Browne, D O'Brien.