LA Rams News: Defensive linemen competition heated

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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LA Rams News
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

The LA Rams hottest roster battles for the 2020 NFL season will likely occur at the defensive line

The LA Rams currently are fairly certain that Andrew Whitworth will start at the left offensive tackle, and Aaron Donald will start wherever he wants to on the defensive line. Beyond that, uncertainty begins to creep in. In a normal year, that uncertainty gathers amidst fans like dew on the blades of grass, waiting for OTAs and spring training to rapidly burn off the questions and focus the team’s hierarchy into the consensus depth chart long before the first snap of a preseason game.

But 2020 is not a typical season. The dawn of training camp and OTA’s will not shine for fans anytime soon. There is no visual evidence of which teams practice with the first string. So questions and uncertainty will linger longer than usual. That means that the tiering of NFL rosters will not be as cut-and-dry as it has been in the past.  In a normal season, we would see the visual evidence of who was lining up as starters, and who was lining up as the third or fourth string and could form our own conclusions.

Virtual questions quarantined answers

2020 is different in so many ways.  Coaches are meeting with players in a virtual format where plays are diagnosed and discussed. Afterward, players are sent back to their own resources with an honors system that they are following a healthy diet, are hydrating properly, are getting sufficient quality sleep, and are exercising and strength training properly.  Most are doing exactly that, but some may cut corners.

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If the season began today, the LA Rams starting three would most certainly be Aaron Donald, A’Shawn Robinson, and Michael Brockers backed up by Sebastian Joseph Day, Greg Gaines, and Morgan Fox. That is merely the like top six for the group. In 2019, The Rams only carried six defensive linemen on the 53-man roster. Will the 2020 makeup differ, as the defense under new defensive coordinator Brandon Staley will emphasize a more rapid rotation?