Originally published by RamsNewswire.com
The Los Angeles Rams still have some important things to figure out before the beginning of the 2023 season on Sep. 10. One of head coach Sean McVay’s biggest tasks is structuring an entirely revamped offensive line. This includes familiar faces like Joseph Noteboom and new names like Steve Avila.
Noteboom is one of the players most likely to be a starter on Week 1’s season opener. However, an undisclosed ailment has knocked him out of the final weeks of the preseason and has made it unlikely he’ll play in the preseason finale against the Denver Broncos. McVay has said he could return this week but it’s more likely he’ll be back for the final week of preparation before Week 1.
McVay spoke about Noteboom’s place on the offensive line depth chart and discussed whether or not he sees him as a starter even with the absence from the last couple of weeks.
“I think he’s played that way during camp, again the interesting thing is to get better at football, you have to be able to play football,” McVay said. “And so we want to be able to find that five and the way that it fits together and it’s hard to be able to see that if we don’t have people out here.
“And so all we can do is continue to work with the guys that are available. I want to see them continue to take steps in the right direction, but I’ve been super pleased with the camp that Joe has had. I think he’s played outstanding at tackle and guard. When he gets back then we’ll have to figure out, all right, which one of those spots do we want to be able to rep him at? But in the midst of his absence, I’ve been really proud of the guys that have stepped up.”
McVay gives both sides of an answer here with Noteboom. He says that, when healthy, Noteboom has played well enough to earn a spot in the starting five of the offensive line. But he also says that Noteboom has not been healthy and that players have stepped up in his absence.
Perhaps this is all standard coach-speak that will result in Noteboom as a starter for Week 1. But if there are some players that have impressed, maybe they’ll get a chance in a season where the Rams are more interested in development than contention.
It looks like Alaric Jackson has earned the starting left tackle job so if Noteboom were to start it would be at right guard, where he’s battling with Tremayne Anchrum.
Stafford happy to see Kupp back
One major player that returned from an injury for the Rams is star wide receiver Cooper Kupp. He had missed a majority of training camp with a hamstring injury but was back on the field for joint practices with the Denver Broncos this week.
Matthew Stafford, who has built a well-known bond with Kupp, was excited to have his star receiver back in action.
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