Rams TE injuries force addition of fresh reinforcements

Camren McDonald Florida State
Camren McDonald Florida State / James Gilbert/GettyImages

The LA Rams may have had six tight ends on the Rams roster, but when it comes to the 2023 Rams Training Camp seven is apparently a better number. Why do I say that? Simply because the latest Rams free agency signing has added a seventh tight end to the Rams roster.

Now the question is, why? Well, the Rams have already been experiencing those nagging minor injuries. Rams TE Hunter Long has been struggling with a groin injury while rookie OL Warren McClendon has been suffering from a knee injury, As a result, both have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

Rams rookie tight end Davis Allen has been fighting through a hamstring injury and the team has been taking it day by day in managing his injury. So the number of Rams tight ends available for the team in training camp for practice is already down to four.

The LA Rams need to keep the wheels of motion moving forward and progress across every position at the 2023 Training Camp to continue in a positive direction. I suspect that the Rams are eager to sustain a larger number of tight ends because the team may have plans to make greater use of their 12-personnel package that was both popular and effective in the 2019 NFL season.

McDonald is a 6-foot-4 244-pound undrafted tight end who was originally signed by the Green Bay Packers before they released him. But before you use that information to discount the guy, there are some intriging qualities about Camren McDonald to keep him on your radar scope.

For starters, he is a tough son of a gun to bring down when he has the football in his hands. He was a consistent option in the Florida State Seminoles offense, with his final three seasons recording better than 20+ receptions and 240+ receiving yards.

While not a dominating blocker at the line of scrimmage, McDonald can set the edge as an inline blocker. He even has the ability to track the ball in flight and adjust his path to catch an errantly thrown ball. From Dairyland Express site expert Paul Bretl, we get these gems of information:

"He also has blocking experience, with 784 career run-blocking snaps, and also important, he played 470 special teams snaps as well, on a variety of units. As a pass-catcher, McDonald caught 74 of his 114 career targets, averaging 11.7 yards per catch with five touchdowns. In 2022, specifically, he displayed some playmaking abilities, averaging 15.0 yards per catching, including averaging 7.0 after the catch, which ranked 28th among all tight ends last season."

Paul Bretl, Dairyland Express

While arriving to a training camp with just days to go before the team suits up to compete in preseason is never an ideal situation, if McDonald can showcase enough to stand out at catching passes, blocking at the line of scrimmage, or even on special teams, he truly has a shot at making the Rams practice squad.

The Rams have seven tight ends on the roster currently, and with Camren McDonald's surprise signing, it feels as though the Rams coaching staff are choosing to emphasize the tight end role this season, or they simply have not seen what they are looking for in the position.

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Or both.