Will LA Rams 30-somethings come back for 2023 season?

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Believe it or not, the LA Rams roster is one of the youngest NFL rosters active today. But even the Rams are not invulnerable to aging. With all of the LA Rams’ new additions, the Rams have ballooned at the upper end of the NFL age scale. Translated: The Rams have eight players on their roster who are 30+ years of age.

If you are younger than 30 years old, you should enjoy yourselves. Energy is in full abundance. Your metabolism and physical strength and endurance are at or nearly at their peaks. You heal more quickly, and despite the sense of events happening too slowly, you are still showing growth and development in all aspects of your life.

Humans begin to notice changes at age 30. It’s a change that happens slowly, almost without perception. But as we acknowledge our physical traits with the new decade of life on the planet, we begin to realize that things are no longer as they once were at age 25. So what changes? Ask Men author Emily Abbate has written an article on the topic from June 2021 that identifies four such changes in men that we notice at age 30.

What changes happen to men at 30?

I – Men lose the ability to pile on muscle mass. For many athletes, putting on additional muscle mass is less of a need than in their early years in the NFL. But it is a factor to be aware of, to be sure. If a player wishes to get stronger, that becomes an arduous task for older players. And bulking up is a strategy for some NFL players, particularly those who compete at the line of scrimmage.

II – Decline in libido. Not really much of a factor for professional football players as far as our concerns.

III – Metabolism slows down. There is a huge debate over the validity of this assertion in the medical and science communities. But perhaps if we reword it, it all makes more sense. After the age of 30, men’s bodies are more effectively resistant to losing weight. Our bodies have the ability to self-regulate to retain body mass, and so any interest in slimming down for the NFL season is a far more complex matter than just picking up jogging again.

IV – Less flexibility. This is the deal-breaker for many professional athletes who have been injured at some point in their careers. Of course, proper physical training and maintenance can mitigate that effect. But

Who are the LA Rams 30-somethings?

The 30-year-olds on the Rams roster by the team the 2023 NFL season begins is fairly extensive. So who are they?

Name                                  Age     Posn     2023 status
Ty Nsekhe                           37+     OT          FA
Matthew Stafford             34+     QB         starter
Bobby Wagner                   32+     ILB         starter
Troy Hill                                31+     DB         FA
Aaron Donald                     31+      DL         starter
Oday Aboushi                     31+      IOL        FA
Rob Havenstein                 30+      OT         starter
Leonard Floyd                    30+      OLB       starter
Matt Skura                          29+      IOL         FA
Tyler Higbee                        29+      TE          starter
Riley Dixon                           29+      P            FA
Allen Robinson                    29+      WR        starter
Cooper Kupp                        29+       WR       starter

As you can see, the LA Rams have a surprising number of players on the roster today who are at or soon to be 30 years of age. Okay, but that still doesn’t give enough of a reason for players to opt out of competing in the sport of their life’s passion.  But it begins to make sense with our next bit of data.

Older players take longer to heal

The older you are, the longer the healing process. And numerous studies have shown that soft tissue injuries happen more frequently in older players, and take longer times to heal. It’s the easier to injure and longer to heal that dissuades players from extending their NFL careers beyond a certain point.

And like it or not, many of the LA Rams players have suffered injuries this season. Over half of the players listed above had or are trying to recover from an injury incurred this season. That converts the debate over how long to play into what quality of life that player wishes to enjoy after their NFL career ends.

NFL careers can make a handful of players independently wealthy, at least to a point where money is not a determining factor in any NFL career decision. If the Rams were a healthy team this season, they would not only not be quite successful this year, but this discussion would not be happening.

There are questions about which veteran leaders on this Rams roster  will be willing to give the team another shot. If the team does decide to blow up the roster, you can bet that very few of the players listed will want to hang around. Stay tuned . . .

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