The numerous injuries along the offensive line led to the demise of the Los Angeles Rams offense.
It was a revolving door of linemen throughout the 2022 season as the Rams were forced to use a different combination of starters for the first 12 weeks. However, the absences did allow for players like Alaric Jackson to show what they could do and he delivered with solid games at both right guard and left tackle.
Jackson looked particularly comfortable at left tackle and could end up sticking there as Los Angeles tries to establish roles, via Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic:
Left tackle Alaric Jackson missed the second half of the season because of blood clots. Jackson played well at right guard as a fill-in when Coleman Shelton was hurt, then moved to left tackle after starter Joe Noteboom, who received a contract extension last spring, suffered a season-ending Achilles injury. Jackson is on medication for the blood clots and says he got positive feedback from his physicians. He will have another update in mid-February and believes he will be cleared to get back on the field. If so, he could be a future cornerstone for the Rams at left tackle, his preferred position.
Jackson also admitted that left tackle is where he feels he’s at his best, but is willing to play wherever the team asks him to:
“I love playing left side, honestly,” he said. “Tackle is my thing, for the most part. I understand that they paid Joe, so I get that whole part. But whatever I can do for the team, I’ll do for the team.”
Noteboom’s 2022 season was cut short after he tore his Achilles but he could make it back before the start of the 2023 campaign. He has experience playing left guard, so there’s a reality where he is moved back there and Jackson takes his spot as the starting left tackle.
Regardless of who ends up starting at either position, the Rams know the offensive line play has to be better than it was this past season if they want to talk themselves into getting back into the playoffs. Getting Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp back will obviously help, but the offensive line’s play will be crucial in getting the ground game established as well.
Offensive line should be a point of emphasis in the offseason, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Rams approach the position group in the coming months.