Havenstein out – Noteboom/Evans in
Of course, the Rams ran aground of a new spike of positive COVID-19 tests among players, and Rob Haventstein was one of the early starters to be subject to the NFL/NFLPA protocols. In fact, he was out for both Week 14 and Week 15.
To compensate, the LA Rams assigned Joseph Noteboom the starting role in Week 14. Once more, Noteboom was up to the task and performed so well that the absence of Havenstein was rather uneventful. So well, in fact, that the performance of Noteboom was one of the best performances of Week 14 against the NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals.
Another backup called into service
But the Rams were only beginning to suffer the effects of the spiking COVID-19, and would soon lose both Havenstein and Noteboom to COVID protocols. That would force the team to promote offensive tackle Bobby Evans into the starting role to face the Seattle Seahawks in Week 15.
While he was not flawless, Evans was good enough to help the LA Rams to a third consecutive win, and second short-handed victory. True kudos are due to both Evans and Coach Carberry for even being prepared to play in Week 15. The Rams faced up to 29 players out at one point in time, postponing the game from Sunday to Tuesday, and the limits of virtual practices.
While not the prettiest performance, Evans was vital and effective. That in itself is a huge positive in an NFL season where the craziest situations can and have developed for the LA Rams. The bottom line is that the Rams handled multiple depth vacancies and still got the win.