Joe Noteboom was active for the Los Angeles Rams in Week 7 versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he still wasn’t a starter along the offensive line. Even though Noteboom didn’t see the field on Sunday, Sean McVay still considers him a starter for the Rams.
“I look at Joe as still a starter,” McVay said. “Joe is working himself back to being healthy. When he is at full health, exactly how that affects what we’ll do with that five-man rotation is to be determined. But I’ve been pleased with those guys. I really like what I’ve seen from the left side of our offensive line. I think Alaric (Jackson) and Steve (Avila) are younger players that are continuing to get better and better with experience. Love the communication and the command and the competitiveness of Coleman Shelton. I think Kevin Dotson’s done a nice job since he’s played. I thought Joe Noteboom did a really good job when he played. I thought Joe did a good job against Indianapolis starting at left tackle and I’ve been really pleased with the steady consistent presence and play of Rob Havenstein. I thought he did an excellent job against a really good player yesterday. Those guys have done well. There are always areas of improvement, but overall, I thought they did a nice job particularly in the run game. There were some good situations in the protection and there were some certain situations that we can certainly be better, but it’s to be expected against a really good front like them.”
Noteboom has been dealing with a groin injury and hasn’t started since the team’s Week 4 matchup with the Indianapolis Colts. With Jackson excelling at left tackle, Noteboom was starting at right guard before he sustained his injury.
At the same time, Dotson has been starting at right guard in recent weeks because of Noteboom’s absence. The Rams acquired Dotson in a trade before the season began and the former fourth-round pick of the Steelers is playing extremely well.
Whenever Noteboom is fully healthy, it remains to be seen if McVay elects to reinsert him back into the starting offense. We do have to consider that McVay could simply be talking up Noteboom ahead of the trade deadline at the end of October.