Injured player II: Rams OL status
LA Rams fans may not fully appreciate the offensive line this season, but I am convinced that this group, when fully healthy, is good enough to win in the NFL Playoffs. The trick is to get everyone healthy. The latest hiccup on that front has been the injury to Steady-Freddie right tackle Rob Havenstein. So far this season, Havenstein has only suited up for 11 of 14 games.
He was injured in the game against the Baltimore Ravens, and was only able to play 16 offensive snaps. He missed Week 15 against the Commanders, and in both absences, he was replaced by LA Rams swing tackle Joseph Noteboom. Now Noteboom has appeared on the Rams injury report with a foot injury.
Thankfully, the Rams believe that Havenstein will be able to suit up and compete in Week 16.
The offensive line will need him this week.
Rams OL is much better than many give this team credit for
The Rams offensive line has not exactly been a picture of continuity and health this season. Havenstein has missed three games. Left tackle Alaric Jackson missed a game. Right guard Kevin Dotson did not see his first start until Week 4, and has held down the starting role ever since.
But let's give credit where credit is due. The LA Rams offensive line, as banged up and reformed as it has been this season, has only allowed 27 quarterback sacks this season. That is good enough to be the fifth-fewest number of sacks in the NFL so far this season.
In terms of running the football, the Rams have been absolute maulers this season. The Rams have averaged 121.3 rushing yards per game. That's good enough to be the 11th best rushing offense in the NFL this season. Even more impressive, the Rams are one of just four teams in that group who do not benefit from a dual-threat quarterback.
Need proof? LA Rams LT Alaric Jackson is (click this link) blocking over 20 yards downfield on this running play by WR Demarcus Robinson. No PPF grade or box score stats will reflect that type of commitment by the Rams' offensive linemen.
If you break this down by an average yards per carry, the Rams are averaging 4.4 yards. That's the eighth best average in the NFL. Now factor in the fact that RB Kyren Williams has only played 10 games, and you can see just how well these Rams offensive linemen have been at plowing the road.