The flurry of LA Rams free agency signings continues as we now turn our attention to another addition to the LA Rams roster. This time, we are going to focus on the addition of interior offensive lineman Matt Skura to the LA Rams practice squad. In typical fashion, we try to do more than just list the name of the guy and offer up a quick peek at his career from an ESPN stat sheet. Sometimes we do not find much to discuss.
This time, well, we do.
But before we start overwhelming you with facts and figures, let’s revisit why the LA Rams are choosing to add another interior offensive lineman to the roster, albeit the practice squad. Simply put, the LA Rams roster has been hammered early with two season-ending injuries to the interior offensive line. First, there was the ACL injury to rookie Logan Bruss before the season started. Then, in the first snap of the game in Week 2, the LA Rams lost backup offensive guard Tremayne Anchrum to a season-ending lower leg injury.
To compensate for the loss of Logan Bruss, the Rams signed veteran offensive lineman Oday Aboushi to the practice squad. Six days after signing him to the practice squad, Aboushi was signed to the LA Rams’ active roster.
LA Rams free agency signing 2nd IOL in a week
The Rams have signed their second interior offensive lineman to their practice squad in less than one week’s time. This time the player is the veteran Matt Skura, a young man who has played at both offensive guard positions as well as the offensive center over the course of his five-year NFL career.
Let’s hope that he sticks to offensive guard for the LA Rams.
He has started at left guard in 14 games for the New York Giants, at right guard for 12 games for the Baltimore Ravens, and played offensive center for 42 games for the Baltimore Ravens.
Standing 6-foot-3 and weighing in at approximately 310-pounds, Skura enjoyed his best season in 2019 as a part-time Baltimore Ravens starting center. But it was also that season that a significant trend began for the one-time Ravens center. In Week 2 of the 2019 season, Skura failed to hike the football cleanly to the quarterback. The play resulted in a blown play and a loss of two yards. But just put a pin in that for one moment.
So long Skura
The following season, Skura would struggle at hiking the football once more this time, it occured once against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 9. In Week 10 of the 2020 NFL season, he would fail to hike the ball cleanly three times. That game was viewed by many fans as Skura being solely to blame and was later attributed to a cut on Skura’s thumb on his hiking hand.
But Ravens fans were livid in the aftermath. The loss to New England was winnable in their mind, and Skura was the focus of their ire and vitriol. But fans began to target his family as well, prompting Skura to caution fans about targetting his wife and children.
He would start just three more games for the Ravens that season, playing in five other games. The following year, he would play just one season with the New York Giants, starting 14 games at left guard. But he was not particularly effective, playing 769 offensive snaps, committing three penalties, and allowing two quarterback sacks.
While he is extremely versatile, the Rams will need to work with him to ensure that he is capable of getting back in the saddle if the plan is to designate him as a backup for the offensive center position.
Blocking-wise, he is serviceable. He has been described as ‘not the guy you want pulling to lead a sweep,’ but he does get his pads on the defender and is relatively dependable.
But let’s not get our hopes up too high. An offensive center who fails to hike the ball cleanly five times in three games over two seasons has some issues to work through. Starting offensive lineman? Yes, in his past. But for now, I would consider him a depth player until further notice.