Injuries decimated the St. Louis Rams offensive line in 2015. The guards had the most trouble staying healthy, as Rodger Saffold missed the final 11 games and Jamon Brown was absent for the last seven. The interior of the offensive line just could not stay healthy, but they were not without quality insurance. Garrett Reynolds stepped into a starting guard role when he had to and played relatively well.
It would have been better for the Rams to have their starters, but Reynolds is as good as a backup offensive lineman gets. He rarely gets lost in traffic, his technique is adequate, and he has enough strength to hold his own against a good portion of NFL defensive linemen.
Even though Reynolds played fine in a starting role when he had to, it’s not likely that he opens week one among the starting five linemen. He does not have much competition for his spot on the roster though. After the starting five, he is easily the most valuable player in the offensive line group. That is not slight to the others, either. Reynolds is just a great sixth offensive lineman.
Andrew Donnal, Cody Wichmann and David Arkin also saw playing time at different points last season, but none of them could match Reynolds. Reynolds, even without a starting spot, should be very comfortable with his level of job security.
Reynolds does not head into training camp with a starting job, but he may be able to earn one.
He played well last season, arguably better than Brown did. Granted, Brown was a rookie and rookie linemen are always going to have ugly mistakes, but Reynolds as of right now is the more reliable player. There is also the very plausible scenario where another Saffold injury either before the season or early on in the season grants Reynolds the starting job again.
Chances of Making Final Roster (9.5/10)
Reynolds is making the roster. He is too valuable as a rotational and spot starter lineman to not make the roster. A couple of other backup linemen, like Donnal, may have more versatility than Reynolds, but Reynolds is the best talent.
It may not be in Week One, but Rams fans will likely find Reynolds in the starting lineup at some point in 2016.