8 Rams players who could shine in Week 18, and into 2023

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Rams Roster Coleman Shelton
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Offensive starters

The LA Rams certainly have a lot of work to do in the offseason on the offensive side of the football. The Rams will end the season with one of, if not the, worst offensive performances by a Sean McVay-coached team.  That unto itself has made this an important but extremely difficult offseason before it ever happens

The key to a great 2023 NFL season is focusing on who to bring back, who to allow to sign elsewhere, and how much of a role to assign to returning players.  In a normal season, there is plenty of evidence. But in the LA Rams helter-skelter season of 2022, the evidence is sketchy at best.

Interior offensive lineman trying to anchor his 2023 role

At first glance, interior offensive lineman Coleman Shelton does not appear to be a player who has performed well. He has played and started at all three interior offensive lineman roles, and has taken 659 offensive snaps in 12 games played.  During that time, he has committed five penalties and allowed three quarterback sacks. His Pro Football Focus grade for the season is just 55.3, hardly a grade that would get anyone excited.

But what is not showing up is the athleticism exhibited by Shelton.  He is not an offensive lineman that is satisfied by one block. Rather, he will engage as many defenders as possible until the final whistle blows. That is a tactic that is very team-friendly but in terms of his PFF grade? Not-so-much. Shelton has one final chance to show up huge, and I look for him to show up in a very big way.

Cam Akers needs one more 100-yard performance

The 2022 NFL season has been quite the dramatic one for running back Cam Akers. Virtually every status that a player can be rumored to be in one NFL season, with the exception of injured, occured to Akers this year. He was a starter. He was ineffective. He was on the trade block. He was in the dog house. He was a healthy scratch. He was benched. He was trying to overcome an injury. And finally, he was a breakout player once more.

That’s quite a bit of drama and suspense to pack into a season for one player. Still, Cam Akers has put on quite a two-game performance of late. But to ensure that he has earned the trust of the team’s coaching staff, one more 100-yard game is needed. Can he do it? Certainly. The question is down to whether he will or not.