5 LA Rams playing for their jobs at training camp

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C Brian Allen

The challenge when trying to assess any of the LA Rams returning offensive linemen is how to assess the complex attributes going forward. Simplistically speaking, judging a player's chances of making the roster rests solely on how competitive that player is. And for Brian Allen, he is a tough son-of-a-gun who will do practically anything to win a starting role as the LA Rams offensive center.

Unfortunately, it's just not that simple. After all, this is Brian Allen's sixth season in the NFL, and the second time that he is coming back from a serious injury. While it is not often discussed, the wear and tear on an offensive lineman's body takes a huge toll. So far, Allen has been ground up repeatedly. In five previous NFL seasons, Allen has had the opportunity to compete in and start in 82 games. He has competed in 45 games, and started 32 of those contests. From a lost number of games, he failed to appear in 37 games, or over 45 percent.

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Durability is a vital quality

Even as he is healed enough to compete for the 2023 NFL season, how effective will he be? Unless you believe in an unlimited ability of medical science to rebuild a player better than ever, the human body can only take so much punishment. And you now have to wonder how close Brian Allen is to that limit.

But even beyond the present, can he somehow compete in 17 games through the 2023 NFL season injury free? He started 16 games in 2021, but of that number he played fewer than five snaps in one game, and he was severely limited in three other games in which he should have been benched. Allen plays physical football with abandon, and his injury history is alarmingly high as a result.

I like Brian Allen, and believe that even as a backup he can play a vital role for the LA Rams. But do the Rams see it that way? If Allen starts this season, how many games can he endure? Will he get dinged up and continue to play hurt, even if that hurts the team as was the case in 2021? Or will the Rams make the right call, and start a player with more durability? The answer may not only determine Brian Allen's role this year, but the effectiveness of the Rams offense as well.