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The Rams Are in Good Hands if Coleman Shelton is Called Upon to Start in Week 14 vs. Cardinals

Coleman Shelton thrived in his first look in an extensive role last Sunday.

The Los Angeles Rams saw center Brian Allen go down with a knee injury on the first offensive play from scrimmage in Week 13 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, requiring the team to turn to their reserves in an effort to round out the remainder of the game.

Coleman Shelton, who hadn't seen an extensive workload in a game since the 2019 season, was called upon to replace the injured Allen. 

Shelton played 67 of the Rams' offensive snaps, anchoring the middle of the offensive line without allowing a sack on quarterback Matthew Stafford. In fact, Shelton did not allow the Jaguars' interior defensive lineman to record a single pressure on Stafford in Week 13.

Shelton was forced into action in a relatively quick manner, not allowing for much mental preparation before entering the game. Shelton was asked how he dealt with that following the Rams' 37-7 win and he reiterated the fundamentals of remaining ready.

"Just always got to be ready," Shelton said. "That's part of the role backup just got to be on your game for the whole weekend, everybody to go out there. And that was fun, it's fun to be able to get those reps. Go out there and play ball. You know, it's always a good feeling."

Shelton was guided by veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who gave him some words of encouragement upon taking over the center position following Allen's injury. 

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"Coleman obviously is a guy that I don't think many of us have to say anything to," Whitworth said. "Just because practicing with him and over the last couple of years we've been together, man, his even-keelness, just his ability to stay in the moment and play and communicate – anytime he's had to do that in practice coming or something, in for one of the starters, it's amazing. He's really good at that. And that's probably one of his best traits is that the game's not that fast to him. He just plays. So it was really good to see him get that opportunity and take advantage of it."

Shelton has spent three seasons with the Rams but has ultimately been buried on the depth chart. Now, after seeing what he can do when he gets his number called upon – and the confidence his teammates instill in him – the Rams are in good hands if Shelton is asked to start the Week 14 game on Monday night against the Arizona Cardinals. 

Rams coach Sean McVay shared Monday that Allen suffered an MCL sprain to his right knee and is considered day-to-day. Allen's status will be monitored throughout the week to determine if he's able to play on Monday. If Allen can't suit up, the Rams will rely on Shelton once again in Allen's absence.

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Nick Cothrel is the publisher of Ram Digest. Follow Nick and Ram Digest on Twitter @NickCothrel & @RamDigestSI for more Rams coverage.