Rams Elevate Offensive Lineman to Active Roster: Report


Getty Tyler Higbee (No. 89) leads out members of the Los Angeles Rams offensive line including center Coleman Shelton before a December 2019 home game. Both Higbee and Shelton were involved in transaction moves by L.A. on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

The Los Angeles Rams will have added depth along the interior offensive line for Sunday night’s season opener against the Chicago Bears.

Per the team’s transactions page on Friday, September 10, the Rams announced that guard Coleman Shelton has been promoted to the final 53-man roster two days before the 2021 season opener.

The move is significant for a Rams team that will need the bodies to protect new quarterback Matthew Stafford and create running lanes for new running back Sony Michel at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.

Shelton was on This List

Before receiving his elevation, the third-year pro from the University of Washington was on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list, with the team making that decision on August 31.

Shelton was the fifth Rams player to be placed on that list before the season along with Tutu Atwell, Johnny Hekker, Corey Bojorquez (who was since traded to the Green Bay Packers) and Chris Garrett (still on COVID-19 list as of Friday).

But now, Shelton will join Atwell and Hekker on the Ram offense in Inglewood as the team welcomes the NFC North opponent who went 8-8 last year and made it to the playoffs as a wildcard.

What the Elevation Means for Rams

Promoting the 6-foot-4, 299-pounder comes in great use for a Rams offensive line that will need depth and versatility against the Bears’ defense.

While Shelton is naturally a guard, he’s likely to be plugged in the middle of the offensive trenches at center.

Per the team’s unofficial depth chart, Shelton is listed as the backup center to Brian Allen. The depth chart, however, doesn’t list a backup left guard to David Edwards. The only reserve guard per the chart is Bobby Evans.

Still though, the Rams will likely carry nine active offensive line options against a Bears team that ranked No. 14 overall in total defense for 2020. Chicago also surrendered 4.1 yards per carry against the ground attack and allowed the ninth-fewest first downs last year at 331.

On Thursday, September 9 following Rams practice, offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell described the Bear defense as a “challenge” and “physical” unit.

“It’s going to be a heck of a challenge for us, there’s no doubt about it,” O’Connell said. “It always is when you play such a physical group over there.”

Raheem Morris & Kevin O'Connell Talk Week 1 Preparation For Rams vs. Bears MatchupLos Angeles Rams coordinators Raheem Morris & Kevin O'Connell talk Week 1 preparation for Rams vs. Bears matchup on Sunday Night Football at SoFi Stadium. Subscribe to the LA Rams Channel: bit.ly/3d9IrHe For More Exclusive Content follow the Rams: Twitter: twitter.com/ramsnfl Instagram: instagram.com/rams/ Facebook: facebook.com/Rams/ Website: therams.com Get the latest on the LA Rams news,…2021-09-09T21:47:00Z

Contract Restructured for Rams Starter

Meanwhile, the Rams freed up some cap space by restructuring one contract on Thursday.

Veteran tight end Tyler Higbee received a restructured deal per ESPN Rams reporter Lindsey Thiry. The deal involves creating $2 million in cap space, as noted by Thiry.

Per spotrac, the 28-year-old tight end is due to become an unrestricted free agent in 2024.

Per Pro Football Reference, the 6-foot-6, 255-pounder has caught 173 passes for 1,927 yards and has scored 12 touchdowns, including a career-best five last season in his first five seasons with the Rams. Higbee was given a 69.2 overall grade by Pro Football Focus from 2020.

Higbee will be playing in a much younger TE group this season – one that features second-year pro Brycen Hopkins and fourth round selection Jacob Harris. Fourth-year TE Johnny Mundt, though, is listed as Higbee’s backup.

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