5 LA Rams playing for their jobs at training camp

Los Angeles Rams Sean McVay
Los Angeles Rams Sean McVay / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
6 of 6
LA Rams News Rams Roster Rams Training Camp  Joe Noteboom
Los Angeles Rams Mandatory Minicamp Joe Noteboom / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

OT Joe Noteboom

I really like LA Rams offensive tackle Joe Noteboom. Despite facing uncertainty throughout his NFL career over whether or not he will play, or even at which position, he has managed to remain prepared, motivated, and ready to go. Unfortunately, much like the career of teammate Brian Allen, Noteboom's NFL career has been riddled with injuries.

Joe Noteboom suffered a torn MCL/ACL in 2019, forcing him to miss ten games. The following year, he was pencilled in to start at left guard, but fell to a calf injury after two games. He recovered and at mid season, took over for left tackle Andrew Whitworth. In 2021, Noteboom was back to playing a role as a swing tackle for the LA Rams. Finally, he started the 2022 NFL season at left tackle. Not only did Noteboom struggle as a starter, allowing five quarterback sacks and committing three penalties in just 325 offensive snaps, but he sufferred a torn Achilles Tendon after just six games.

Coming back from an Achilles Tendon injury is not an easy thing to do

Now, he is working hard to return and reclaim the starting left tackle role. But coming off an Achilles Tendon injury? I hope someone with decision-making power taps the brakes on that idea.

Coming back from an Achilles Tendon injury is doubly difficult, as healing the body to get medical clearance to return to normal activity is surprisingly the easy part. The real challenge to the healing process, which can take another 12 to 18 months to accomplish, is training the mind to instinctively trust the injured site to plant, pivot, and push off without thinking about the injury.

When Cam Akers was medically cleared to play football again, it was not until nearly a year has passed that he was finally able to rush for 100+ yards. Like it or not, that is quite common with Achilles Tendon injuries. While it is quite easy to judge an NFL running back's recovery period simply by measuring his rushing yards, it's not that easy for an offensive lineman, who will never admit to struggling not to think about his former injury.

dark. Trending. Expectations for Rams defense this season. What can the LA Rams defense realistically deliver this season?

Like Allen, Noteboom's best role for the Rams this season is to backup a starter. Joe Noteboom can backup four offensive line positions well enough on a temporary basis to serve as a valuable role this season. But throwing him to the lions and expecting him to start 17 NFL games after an Achilles Tendon injury, when he has struggled to remain healthy his entire career, just seems far too risky to me.