With Rodger Saffold out for who knows how long (even when Saffold is healthy, he's an injury risk) the St. Louis Rams have stocked up on offensive linemen to improve both the size and depth of the offensive line.
While Joe Barksdale will slide into Saffold's spot at RT, the depth chart behind him and Jake Long was looking pretty thin. To address that, the Rams signed former Steelers tackle Max Starks and former Seahawks reserve Mike Person. This takes the number of lineman on the 53-man roster to 12.
Jeff Fisher is pleased that he won't have to take his team into battle short-handed.
"We’re just making sure that we’ve got numbers there for back-ups and that kind of thing. It’s a little unusual that we carry 12 (offensive linemen) on the active, but you’re probably going to see more than the normal deactivated on Sundays.”
With Starks, the Rams get a mountain of a physical specimen (6'7", 370 pounds) and a decorated veteran who's made three Super Bowl starts as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Max is an experienced tackle that’s played a lot of plays in this league and can still play," Fisher said. "We just brought him in for a workout and really liked his workout. He’s been working very hard since being released. You can’t have enough experience on your offensive line, so we got Max in and we’ll get him ready to play in different packages and ready to back up if we need him.”
Person was released by Seattle earlier in the week and the Rams valued his versatility to play all along the offensive line. As experienced as Starks is, Person is a relative novice, having appeared in only one NFL game. At 6'4" and 299 pounds, Person projects as more of a third tight end in short yardage packages, a role Seattle utilized him in.
As for the interior line, it looks like Chris Williams will go Sunday at Dallas after battling a foot problem all week. He practiced on Thursday with no restrictions. If Williams foot falters, Shelley Smith would have to step in at guard.
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