The hits keep on coming for the Los Angeles Rams and their offensive line as both C Brian Allen and RT Rob Havenstein suffered injuries in Week 10, with neither returning to the contest. Allen’s MCL injury is season-ending, while Havenstein is expected to miss at least Week 11.
The offensive line is currently in rough shape, even without the injuries as the regression has hit ten-fold. LG Joseph Noteboom was lost to an ACL injury weeks ago and now Austin Blythe and David Edwards have been required to play a bunch of different spots on the line, disallowing any opportunity to build continuity or comfort for whichever lineman remain.
The Rams have essentially no choice but to look outside of the building for help. After scouring the free agent market, here are the best options:
RT Jermey Parnell
Parnell is a 33-year-old tackle (primarily right side) who’s started 64 games in his 9-year career, but has 111 games of experience in total. Parnell has played for a bevy of teams which includes the New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and most recently the Jacksonville Jaguars. Parnell was with the Jaguars with all three of EDGE Dante Fowler Jr., CB Jalen Ramsey, and QB Blake Bortles. Parnell has flashed a lot of solid play over the years, but is obviously long in the tooth as his career is dwindling down to it’s inevitable end. He still possesses a mean-streak as a nasty run-blocking offensive tackle.
OG Josh Garnett
Garnett is a former first-round draft pick by the divisional rival San Francisco 49ers. Garnett was a massive disappointment, being released only three years into his rookie contract (one of which was lost due to a season-ending knee injury). Garnett only has 22 games of experience (11 starting), signaling there could be some untapped potential there, but the chances aren’t very great.
OG Shawn Lauvao
Lauvao is the one player the coaching staff is actually familiar with as he spent five years with the Washington Redskins from 2014-2018. His inability to stay healthy has always been an issue, but Luavao was always a starter for the Redskins when healthy and proved to be an average player — which is more than the Rams can say about their offensive lineman right now. Lauvao is another veteran option as a 32-year-old with 99 games (90 started) of experience.
OG Jonathan Cooper
Cooper — like Garnett — is a former first-round pick who never panned out as expected. He’s spent time with nearly a quarter of the league, bouncing from team-to-team as a career journeyman. Along the way, Cooper scooped up 46 games of experience, 31 of which he started. The 29-year-old is nothing more than a veteran stop-gap at this point, but does offer a body capable of stepping in for short spurts of time.