Rams trades seem to target peace of mind, and not football field production
So the Rams were forewarned about the need to not only start capable offensive linemen but durable offensive linemen in 2023 as well. Forewarned typically means forearmed. But that is not always the case, and the Rams offensive line configuration for the 2023 NFL season seemed to be another refusal by the Rams coaching staff to consider the implications of durability and continuity for the overall performance of an NFL offensive line.
After three games in 2023, the Rams' offensive line was fighting through another outbreak of minor injuries. RG Joe Noteboom suffered several minor injuries that impacted his availability. And LT Alaric Jackson suffered a bruised thigh, which forced him to the sidelines. And yet, the Rams failed to make use of IOL Kevin Dotson, which was remarkably similar to their reluctance to play RB Sony Michel in 2022
Rams finally give Kevin Dotson a shot to start
By Week 4, the LA Rams had to do something different. The team needed to fill the vacancy at their left tackle position with a healed Joe Noteboom, but the team wanted to backfill the right guard position with a tried and tested NFL veteran who could handle the demands of spot starting.
That let to the LA Rams pivoting in favor of veteran offensive guard Kevin Dotson, the 6-foot-4 321-pound road grader who was acquired specifically for this purpose. While that meant that the LA Rams would be starting a new offensive line configuration, the hope was that by promoting Dotson, the team could reset the group to a new unit.
The following week, the Rams did restore Alaric Jackson to left tackle, and for two games in a row, the Rams have had the benefit of a rather promising starting offensive line. For any NFL team, durability issues will always be the bane to their offensive line. No matter how well an offensive lineman competes on the football field, if he cannot stay healthy he will cause his team to struggle. I think the LA Rams are finally seeing that image come into focus.