5 problems LA Rams must avoid in 2023’s initial roster

Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports /
3 of 6
LA Rams News Rams Roster Tyler Higbee
Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images /

Mistake IV: Only two tight ends

The LA Rams had found success with 12-personnel packages in the past, but the team made the regrettable decision to go with only two tight ends for the 2022 NFL season. That was a huge mistake on multiple fronts. Here’s why.

The LA Rams had a clear starting tight end in Tyler Higbee. But the LA Rams had never established a true TE2 after former Rams tight end Johnny Mundt was injured during the 2021 NFL season. The Rams trialed both Kendall Blanton and Brycen Hopkins in the role, and Blanton appeared to leapfrog Hopkins into the role for the latter half of 2021.

But Blanton was injured and could not suit up for Super Bowl LVI. Instead, Brycen Hopkins was forced into service and caught all four passes thrown his way.

The LA Rams roster was too light on TEs

So when 2022 arrived the Rams roster opted for just two tight ends: Tyler Higbee and Brycen Hopkins. The problem was obvious in that the Rams did not have a blocking tight end on the roster, and that would create immediate problems. The offensive line began to erode, suffering multiple injuries that created huge challenges for the team as the coaching staff scrambled for ways to create better blocking.

But another problem developed as well. As indicated earlier in discussing rookie running back Kyren Williams, the team’s option for a second tight end to augment the offense delivered next to nothing for the offense. Hopkins was targeted just 11 times for the entire 2022 NFL season, catching seven passes for 109 yards.

The Rams ultimately did re-sign Kendall Blanton and played him in four games with two starts. He was targeted just twice, catching both passes for 35 yards. But he was released with RB Darell Henderson. In the end, the Rams never did develop a second tight end in the passing game.