The center of the Rams universe
I'm not sure how many chances the LA Rams have extended to offensive center Brian Allen, but if this was baseball I would be looking for him to be leaving the batter's box and heading back to the dugout. Let's be very clear, though. If Allen is healthy, mentally set, and focused on the game, he can be very good. In 2021, he started the season with solid games against some of the toughest nose tackles in the NFL. But that only is if he is healthy and his mind is in the game.
Allen is not the same player when injured. Unfortunately, he gets banged up a great deal, and not all of those debilitating injuries send him to the bench. Sometimes, he plays injured, and the entire Rams offense suffers for it. The Rams losing streak in 2021 coincided with an injury to Brian Allen that made him resemble a one-armed offensive lineman on the football field at times. And yet, the Rams did not sub in a fresh Coleman Shelton until Allen's knee was banged up as well.
The truth of the matter right now is that the LA Rams have plenty of options for the center position. The problem right now is whether the team has the intestinal fortitude to make that decision. And it's not as cut and dry as I may be portraying.
Great rehearsals, banged up performances
Allen is a fierce competitor, and throughout training camp the expectation is that he will remain healthy. That means that it will be his best performance that the coaches see, and that has proven to be pretty good work in the trenches.
But when the season starts, that same need to compete comes at a price. His body has been battered already, and the wear and tear of a new NFL season take a heavy toll on him. This is not just an opinion, but rather the NFL history of Brian Allen's career. He gets injured, a lot. The Rams can prepare for that inevitable event in one of two ways. The team can start him, but have ample depth on the roster to swap in when he is injured. Or the team can start another player, knowing that Allen can come in if something goes awry.
But either way, the LA Rams need a season of full health for Brian Allen. If he is injured this year, I don't see how the team can justify another year of trying to make it work.