Injury outbreak may hold silver lining for LA Rams offensive line

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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When it rains, it pours

So goes the idiom that was reworked into an old Morton Salt commercial, but which now holds meaning for the LA Rams as well. The LA Rams entered the 2022 NFL season with a new configuration of starters on the offensive line: Joe Noteboom, David Edwards, Brian Allen, Coleman Shelton, and Rob Havenstein.

I’ve clamored a bit on the topic of the offensive line depth, particularly in light of durability concerns over both Brian Allen and Joe Noteboom. It came down to a roll of the dice, but the Rams’ decision to go with just eight offensive linemen and two tight ends seemed overly optimistic, even a bit foolish when held up against the track record of the players who were to be counted out to hold up over a 17-game season.

In our analysis of the LA Rams offensive line setting just eight to start the season:

"Talk about bold confidence. After the 2021 season where both the offensive line and the tight end positions were hit hard with injuries, the Rams decide to go with significantly fewer players this season. We sounded the alarm over the need to address the depth of the offensive line group, but that was not reflected in the team’s OL depth. I have concerns over the team going too shallow. – per Grading LA Rams Initial 53-man roster to projections by Bret Stuter"

History tends to repeat itself. There is no joy in an aftermath of a humiliating beatdown, nor are there any points awarded in jotting down observations that put the risks taken by the team into words. The team had to make decisions on how best to populate their roster.  It’s a limit of 53 players, and based on the quality of the players involved, the Rams chose who they selected.

Must Read. LA Rams: 15 greatest linebackers of All Time. light

Now, that decision to go light on the offensive line, just eight players, comes with significant risk. The Rams cut interior offensive lineman Jack Snyder, a young player who appeared to play well enough in preseason snaps to earn a roster spot on the practice squad. The reason? The Rams’ primary backup at the offensive center is Coleman Shelton, who just happens to be their starting right guard. That seems . . . unwise.