I still have nightmares about the injury-decimated offensive lines of the recent past. An injured running back, an injured and gun-shy quarterback, we're just now digging ourselves out from the hole caused in part by an injured o-line.
And now the Jets find themselves in a similar situation. They're without three starters up front this week with LG Alan Faneca, C Nick Mangold and RT Damien Woody sitting it out this week. Right now, all of those guys should be ready to go for the regular season, but it's a reminder of just how important depth is up front. It's got Jets fans worried. From Gang Green Nation:
A theme you've heard over and over from us is how scary the lack of offensive line depth is for this team. It plays out again here. Faneca should be healthy for the Houston game, but the Jets are one play away from having real problems. Considering how physical it gets up front, it's a minor miracle Gang Green didn't lose a single start to injury on the offensive line in 2008. Even a fluke play like what happened to Faneca can bring a disaster. Losing even one of the five could throw off the entire equilibrium. Lines function as a unit.
Painful, painful memories. This also gets back to a point made in the 2009 Football Outsiders Almanac about injuries. It's unlikely, especially with a younger group up front, that the Rams will suffer as many season-wrecking injuries as they have in the past. According to the FO Almanac, that's one reason we can expect a better season from the Rams this year. The Jets, on the other hand, had an unusual season in 2008 because of the lack of injuries they had to deal with.
The other difference between the Rams and Jets situation is depth. We now find ourselves in a position where we have good depth behind our starters. We've scored with draft picks like John Greco and Mark Setterstrom, and made some nice finds on the waiver wire with guys like Adam Goldberg. Something to think about.