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 /
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I: Carrying only eight offensive linemen

This was the most alarming decision made for the 2022 Rams roster. As we were quick to point out in April 2022, the LA Rams’ decision to start Joe Noteboom at left tackle and Brian Allen at the center did not come without risks. Over the course of their careers, Allen had a durability rate of just 59 percent, while Noteboom’s durability rate was just 50 percent. That meant that the Rams should factor in playing a backup for nine games at left tackle and eight games at the center.

How close did we come? Brian Allen played in just seven games, meaning that the Rams had to start a backup at the center position for 10 games. Joseph Noteboom played in just six games. That meant that the LA Rams had to play a backup at the left tackle position for 11 games. If I was able to anticipate the Rams’ offensive line struggles six months into the future, then why were the Rams so confident that they opted to carry just eight offensive linemen on their 53-man roster?

Rams failed to anticipate reasonable problems

It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in professional sports or a crystal ball to have the ability to anticipate the perils of starting three new players on the offensive line in 2022. And complicating that was the fact that two of the Rams’ three new starting offensive linemen had a history of not being able to suit up for their games. The result? The Rams had burned through their backups by the second game of the 2022 NFL season.

That is a problem that could have been easily avoided.

What did occur is the outbreak of injuries forced the LA Rams front office to sign more than a handful of free-agent offensive linemen just to be able to keep the offense afloat. Over the course of the season, the Rams signed IOL Oday Aboushi, Matt Skura, OT Ty Nsekhe, OT Zachary Thomas, and finally IOL Cole Turner. The shortcomings of the Rams’ offensive line were a huge mistake, as it forced the Rams to start veterans who had to crash course the Rams’ offensive playbook with limited time.

Had the Rams carried more offensive linemen, they would have had more options than starting OT Bobby Evans out of position as the offensive guard. At season’s end, the Rams had 466 snaps for Matt Skura, 423 offensive snaps for Ty Nsekhe, and 339 offensive snaps for Oday Aboushi, none of whom benefitted from a Rams training camp.

Could a larger OL complement have solved the Rams’ offensive line woes in 2022? Not at all. But carrying 10 instead of eight offensive linemen on the initial 53-man roster would have given the front office a fighting chance to reload quickly enough to a point where the Rams may have won a few more games.

That’s all I have in my notebook from the LA Rams’ initial 53-man roster from 2022. Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments section.

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