Morning Ram-blings: Looking at line depth

October, 4, 2013
10/04/13
8:00
AM ET
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Upon the release of backup swing tackle Max Starks to make way for linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar, the St. Louis Rams trimmed their offensive line group from an even dozen to 11 on the active roster.

Despite that plethora of bodies available, they'll still enter Sunday's game against Jacksonville with plenty of questions about their depth up front, particularly behind starting tackles Jake Long and Joe Barksdale.

Barksdale has filled in pretty well for the injured Rodger Saffold, whom coach Jeff Fisher said is progressing but doesn't appear poised to return in the next week or two.

But behind those two, the Rams now have an unproven Mike Person and then the potential to kick guards Chris Williams or Brandon Washington outside to provide additional depth.

Person seems the odds-on favorite to handle the third tackle job this week despite coming to St. Louis on waivers from Seattle on Sept. 16. Asked about Person's development since arriving, Fisher offered a broader take on the depth along the offensive line.

"He's picking up things well," Fisher said. "All the guys, Bou [offensive line coach Paul Boudreau] does a great job with the backups."

The Rams have already been forced to dip into the backup pool with Barksdale, and Long has had momentary scares where it's looked like he might miss time. They'd probably prefer not to have to do so again this week knowing there isn't much in the way of known commodities behind the starters.

I.C.Y.M.I.

A daily roundup of yesterday's Rams stories right here at ESPN.com. ... After the usual Ram-blings, Jaguars reporter Michael DiRocco and I broke down this weekend's matchup. ... From there, we offered a deeper look at the struggles of Rams quarterback Sam Bradford through the eyes of ESPN scouts Louis Riddick and Matt Williamson. ... Next we did a quick injury update as the Rams added defensive tackle Matt Conrath to the list with a concussion. ... Finally, it was a look at the Rams' issues with blocking beyond just the offensive line with a focus on the edges.

Elsewhere:

The guys from NFL Countdown make their picks for Sunday's game. I won't spoil the picks.

ESPN Insider Mike Sando provides his weekly inside edge with great stats and analysis to help you get a handle on this week's game.

Speaking of great stats, fantasy analyst Christopher Harris has some that are worth checking out in his weekly film room.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bryan Burwell writes that the Rams absolutely must beat the Jaguars this week.

At stlouisrams.com, Jonathan Webb takes note of the performance of receiver Austin Pettis through the first four weeks.

Nick Wagoner

ESPN St. Louis Rams reporter

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