Brian Allen

Matthew Stafford Cleared For Week 11 Return

The Rams were on the losing end of an all-backup quarterback battle last week, but they are set to have their starter available under center on Sunday. Matthew Stafford has been removed from the team’s injury report and is in line to play against the Saints.

Stafford had missed Los Angeles’ loss to the Cardinals in Week 10 due to a concussion. He made steady progress in recent days, though, lining him up to be cleared in time for Sunday’s game. The Rams turned to backup John Wolford in Stafford’s absence, with the exception of a handful of snaps given to rookie Bryce Perkins.

Stafford being back at the helm will be a welcomed sight, despite that fact that his second season with the Rams has not gone as smoothly as his first. The 34-year-old has an 8:8 touchdown-to-interception ratio (after throwing five in the first two games, and one in three consecutive contests between Weeks 4 and 6) while averaging 46 fewer passing yards per game than 2021.

Overall, the Rams rank 17th in the league in that regard, as they have struggled mightily on offense. The run game has fared even worse, of course, but a healthy Stafford could especially be needed moving forward given the fact the the team’s most consistent contributor is now out of the picture.

Cooper Kupp‘s high ankle sprain required surgery and has landed him on IR, leaving him sidelined for at least four games. With the Rams sitting at 3-6, that has led to questions about whether the the reigning Offensive Player of the Year will see the field again in 2022. An offensive resurgence will be needed to bring the team back into playoff contention.

Stafford – who like Kupp and Aaron Donald signed a big-ticket extension this offseason – entered the campaign with concerns over his throwing elbow, though the more significant concern has become the offensive line in front of him. On that note, ESPN’s Sarah Barshop reports that neither guard David Andrews nor center Brian Allen will be available against the Saints (Twitter links). That will induce even more alterations to the injury-ravaged unit, while the Rams look to end their three-game skid with the No. 1 QB back in the fold.

Coleman Shelton To Miss Extensive Time

The injuries continue to mount for the Rams on their interior offensive line. The defending Super Bowl champions lost another starter up front, with Sean McVay indicating Tuesday that Coleman Shelton will be sidelined due to a high ankle sprain.

Shelton, who won the team’s right guard competition out of training camp, had moved to center after Brian Allen‘s Week 1 injury. Allen has not yet returned, but McVay said Shelton will face a four- to six-week return timetable as a result of the injury he sustained against the 49ers. An IR stay seems likely for Shelton.

The Rams played without their starting center (Allen) and left guard (David Edwards) against the Niners, and other options are out of the picture inside as well. The team’s top 2022 draft choice, guard Logan Bruss, suffered ACL and MCL tears in August; right guard replacement Tremayne Anchrum is also out for the year. The Rams finished with third-string options at center (Jeremiah Kolone) and right guard (Alaric Jackson) by game’s end, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic notes (on Twitter).

A UDFA who has been with the Rams for four seasons, Shelton earned his first crack at a starting job this season. He was the team’s only interior-line constant during the first four games, playing guard and center for the injury-battered front. The Rams will need to make another adjustment before facing the Cowboys in Week 5.

The 49ers dropped Matthew Stafford seven times in Week 4, marking the second game this season in which Stafford has taken seven sacks. The Bills began the year with a seven-sack showing, doing so as the Rams lost Allen to injury. Allen underwent a knee procedure shortly after Week 1, but the Rams did not place him on IR. After missing three games, the veteran snapper should be back soon. It might not be this week, however, Rodrigue adds (via Twitter). Edwards was placed in the team’s concussion protocol over the weekend, leaving his status uncertain for the Dallas matchup. The Rams still have their tackles — Joe Noteboom and Rob Havenstein — available, though Noteboom allowed three of San Francisco’s sacks Monday.

Rams C Brian Allen Out For 2-4 Weeks

The Rams’ offensive line had a tough night in their season-opening loss to the Bills last night. Unfortunately, their job won’t get any easier as starting center Brian Allen will miss the next two to four weeks in order to undergo a knee procedure, according to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic. 

Allen played the entirety of the game last night without apparent issue but requires a cleanout procedure on his knee. Allen has seen a number of ailments to his knee. He missed half of the 2019 season with a knee injury and had to earn his starting job back upon his healthy return.

After successfully topping the depth chart again in 2021, Allen was sidelined with an MCL sprain one snap into a Week 12 game against the Jaguars that would force him to miss the following game in Arizona, as well. Another knee injury forced him to leave a Week 15 matchup against the Vikings early, but he was able to return the next week and stay healthy all the way through the Super Bowl.

With Allen out, the Rams will slide starting right guard Coleman Shelton into center and Tremayne Anchrum will sub in for Shelton. Last night was just Shelton’s third career start in the NFL but he does have center experience from his time at the University of Washington.

Placing Anchrum in the starting lineup will give the former seventh-round draft pick his first career start after appearing in 13 games since being drafted in 2020. Los Angeles doesn’t have much more of a choice as third-round rookie Logan Bruss is on injured reserve with tears in his right ACL and MCL from the preseason. Past Anchrum, the Rams only have backup tackles A.J. Jackson and Bobby Evans as substitute options.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/28/22

We will keep track of today’s minor moves right here:

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Las Vegas Raiders:

New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Commanders

Summers is a 2019 seventh-round pick who has just one career start but who has established himself as a key contributor on Green Bay’s special teams unit over his first three seasons in the league. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com expects the TCU product to generate interest on the waiver wire (Twitter link). Indeed, Packers HC Matt LaFleur said that the team made the decision to part ways with Summers now in order to give him a chance to hook on with a new club before the wave of impending cuts that will soon flood the market (Twitter link via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com).

The Seahawks’ decision to move Brown to the PUP list means that he will be sidelined for at least the first four games of the season. That marks a disappointing start to his second NFL campaign; the fourth-rounder had two separate IR stints last year. That limited him to just five games (three starts), during which he registered 10 tackles and one pass deflection. Seattle has seen plenty of roster turnover at the CB position this offseason, leaving Brown in line for at least a rotational role. In his absence, the team will rely even more on starters Sidney Jones and Artie Burns, with rookies Coby Bryant likely to play in the slot.

Panthers To Sign OL Austin Corbett

7:32pm: The Panthers have agreed to terms with Corbett, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports. Carolina lands a guard with 40 starts’ worth of experience. Corbett agreed to a three-year contract worth $29.25MM, per Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). The deal contains $13.6MM in guaranteed money, per ProFootballNetwork.com’s Aaron Wilson (on Twitter). The first two years of his deal are fully guaranteed.

6:49pm: The Rams reached agreements to retain center Brian Allen and swing tackle Joseph Noteboom, but they may be ready to see their other free agent offensive lineman of note depart.

Austin Corbett is close to an agreement with the Panthers, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Carolina has multiple needs up front, one of those being at guard.

After a midseason trade in 2019, the former Browns second-round pick became a regular Rams starter. Corbett started every game for the past two Rams squads, including all 21 during the team’s Super Bowl-winning campaign. Operating as Los Angeles’ right guard, Corbett provided some stability at that spot as the Rams transitioned to Matthew Stafford under center and used three primary running backs last season. PFF assigned Corbett a 69.6 regular-season grade, which ranked tops among the Rams’ guards.

Carolina struggled consistently at guard, deploying John Miller (52.1) and Michael Jordan (50.8) as their primary first-stringers last season. While the Panthers encountered steady quarterback issues, their O-line did not do this collection of passers many favors.

The Panthers saw Pat Elflein play just nine games last season, though they restructured the would-be starter. Elflein-Corbett would likely be the team’s direction at guard, should the latter end up finalizing this agreement.

Rams To Re-Sign Brian Allen

Another one of this year’s top free agent centers is staying put. The Rams are bringing back Brian Allen on a three-year, $24MM contract (Twitter link via ESPN’s Adam Schefter).

[RELATED: Rams To Re-Sign Joe Noteboom]

Allen, 26, took over as the full-time starting center in 2019. An MCL injury cut that year short, however, and kept him sidelined for the entire 2020 season. This year, he returned healthy enough to start in all 16 games he played in.

Despite allowing five sacks in just over 900 snaps, PFF viewed Allen favorably. He earned a grade of 80.2, making him one of the top options on the center market, even before the recent re-signings of Ryan Jensen and Ben Jones. It made him a strong candidate to re-up with the team, despite their limited cap space.

With this signing – along with that of presumed new starting left tackle Joe Noteboom – there will be a good deal of continuity along the Rams’ offensive line. That will be significant, as the team tries to keep as many pieces of their Super Bowl-winning roster as possible. The most notable of those on offense, of course, remains Odell Beckham Jr.

With Jensen, Jones and now Allen no longer options for outside teams, even more attention will turn to Bradley Bozeman. After one season at his more comfortable center position, his play in Baltimore may very well have earned him a lucrative second contract. Los Angeles, which could have been a suitor for him had Allen departed, will now move forward with their in-house option.

Latest On Rams’ Pending Free Agents

If the Rams hope to repeat as Super Bowl champions, they face a number of key decisions in the coming days. They have money still to be shed, but a number of free agents left to re-sign. 

The biggest names amongst said free agents are Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr. The former made an impact on the Rams’ defense after being traded for mid-season. He registered five sacks in eight regular season games in L.A., adding another four in the playoffs. The 32-year-old earned himself a hefty payday, regardless of where he ends up.

According to Jordan Rodrigue of The Athletic (subscription required), the Rams may be able to keep both in the fold. She writes that the team is “confident” their offer to Miller “will be enough to convince him to stay”. She adds that said proposal is thought to be worth between $14MM and $16MM per year over a span of “perhaps” two years, though that salary figure “doesn’t seem to have a hard ceiling”. The three-time All Pro has expressed an interest in staying, but he also plans to at least test the open market, which could very well include a return to Denver.

As for Beckham, Rodrigue notes that the team is staying flexible with respect to contract offers, though it does seem inevitable he will remain there, as was previously reported. She names center Brian Allen as one more significant pending free agent the Rams could try to find the money to retain.

On the other hand, there are noteworthy players who seemed destined to land deals elsewhere, in no small part as a result of the team’s preference to keep Miller and Beckham. Among those Rodrigue predicts will find new homes is defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day. The 26-year-old played a career-high 69% of snaps this year, notching three sacks. Another is cornerback Darious Williams, whom she reports could land a deal valued at upwards of $10MM per season despite a down year in 2021.

Projected to be more than $20MM over the cap at this point, the Rams clearly have work to do. If all goes according to plan, however, they could still field one of the most talented teams in the NFL next year.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/8/22

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Browns’ Baker Mayfield, Case Keenum Ruled Out

Baker Mayfield and Case Keenum weren’t able to test out of the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols in time for today’s game (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). With that, Nick Mullens is set to start for the Browns against the Raiders today.

[RELATED: Raiders-Browns Moved To Monday]

The Browns were able to activate safety John Johnson III from the list, but the bulk of their COVID-19 positive players from last week will be held out. To fill the roster, the Browns have elevated cornerbacks Brian Allen and Herb Miller, safeties Tedric Thompson and Jovante Moffatt, defensive end Joe Jackson, guard Hjalte Froholdt, and running back John Kelly for tonight’s game.

Without their top two QBs, the Browns will need a big day out of their running backs. Unfortunately, that group won’t include Kareem Hunt, who also finds himself on the COVID-19 list. Instead, they’ll look to Nick Chubb, who has 5.5 yards per carry on the year, and D’Ernest Johnson, the reserve who turned in a couple of impressive performances earlier this year.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 12/16/21

Today’s taxi squad moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Houston Texans

  • Placed on COVID-19 list: DB Cre’von LeBlanc

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Rams

New York Giants

New York Jets