LA Rams 2019 center Brian Allen must prove health as he battles to reclaim a spot on team’s 53-man roster
The LA Rams offensive line may have experienced a lot of turnover in 2019, but the rules of the numbers game have not changed. What that means is that the Rams will carry the five starting offensive linemen, one backup offensive tackle, one backup interior offensive lineman, and one swing player who can take over at virtually any position during a game.
When you do the math, the odd man out seems to be last year’s starting center, Brian Allen. We project the Rams starting five as the group that was most successful last season – the final five starters. That means Andrew Whitworth, Austin Corbett, Austin Blythe, David Edwards, and Bobby Evans.
Of course, Rob Havenstein could with the right tackle spot, placing Evans onto a bubble. We project Joseph Noteboom as the backup tackle for Andrew Whitworth. There is Tremayne Anchrum who is the odds-on favorite to win the IOL backup role. Finally, Jamil Demby has the inside track to resume his swing lineman role.
Uphill battle for another uphill battle
For the practice squad, the Rams will likely carry Bobby Evans and Cohl Cabral. That’s a total of 10 offensive linemen. That’s the numbers game, the “rags to riches” narrative we discussed long before the 2020 NFL Draft. The Rams shuffled through so many offensive linemen last season, that the team has a surplus of experienced offensive linemen this year.
And that is what awaits Brian Allen this year. After the uphill battle of rehabbing this offseason with complex social distancing rules in place, and the uphill battle of beating COVID-19 positive test results, he must now win another uphill battle for a roster spot.
It seems rather anti-climatic for the Rams to have carried so many offensive linemen (13) from last year’s roster, many of whom earned starting experience with the team, just to waive them to make the 53-man roster. That is why we had projected several trade scenarios by which the Rams could negotiate trading experienced offensive linemen to other NFL teams in exchange for future draft picks with the team desperately needs.
Of course, Allen has beaten the odds before, and may very well so so again. But if he wins a roster spot, do the Rams cut Bobby Evans? Cohl Cabral? Tremayne Anchrum? Right now, it’s a numbers game, and unless Allen steps up in a big way in training camp, the ream will be weighing his future most heavily.