The Los Angeles Rams offensive line has been much better during the 2023 season compared to 2022.
The left side of the line features Alaric Jackson at left tackle and rookie offensive lineman Steve Avila at left guard. Meanwhile, the Rams have had Kevin Dotson, who they traded for right before the star of the regular season, at right guard.
However, the new starting o-line has left Joseph Noteboom as the odd man out. Noteboom was starting at right guard, but suffered a groin injury in Week 4 that cost him his spot.
Noteboom didn’t see the field in Week 7 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but Sean McVay still considers the veteran a starter.
“I look at Joe as still a starter,” McVay said. “Joe is working himself back to being healthy. When he is at full health, exactly how that affects what we’ll do with that fiveman rotation is to be determined. But I’ve been pleased with those guys. I really like what I’ve seen from the left side of our offensive line. I think (OL) Alaric (Jackson) and (OL) Steve (Avila) are younger players that are continuing to get better and better with experience, love the communication and the command and the competitiveness of (OL) Coleman Shelton. I think (OL) Kevin Dotson’s done a nice job since he’s played.
“I thought Joe Noteboom did a really good job when he played. I thought Joe did a good job against Indianapolis starting at left tackle and I’ve been really pleased with the steady consistent presence and play of (OL) Rob Havenstein. I thought he did an excellent job against a really good player yesterday. Those guys have done well. There are always areas of improvement, but overall, I thought they did a nice job particularly in the run game. There were some good situations in the protection and there were some certain situations that we can certainly be better, but it’s to be expected against a really good front like them.”
Having more depth along the offensive line is never a bad thing, but with the current starting group holding up well it’s hard to see where Noteboom fits in. He would be the first sub in should anything happen to Jackson or Dotson, but until then he might end up sitting on the bench.
Sean McVay discusses potential Joseph Noteboom trade
With the NFL trade deadline approaching, McVay acknowledged the possibility of trading Noteboom.
“We’d have to see how things go. He’s a starting caliber player. We look at him as basically a starter on our roster too.
“The only reason that he was inactive a couple weeks ago is because he wasn’t ready to play through the groin. He’s still getting himself back where we deemed it that him being up as a possible, whether it be guard or a tackle, even when he’s not at a hundred percent is better than some of the alternatives but you still want to be smart with him. But I would think he would fit in that role, but he’s a really valuable player to me and to us.”