Rams need to protect Suh from being overworked

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 17: Ndamukong Suh
BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 17: Ndamukong Suh /

Ndamukong Suh makes the Los Angeles Rams Super Bowl contenders, but they can’t overuse him. 

The Los Angeles Rams are understandably excited to unleash Ndamukong Suh on their NFL rivals this season. However, the team needs to make sure they use their new defensive star very judiciously. Suh already has a ton of miles on his tires.

The former Dolphins star has played more snaps than any other defensive linemen in the NFL during the past eight seasons. That has to be a concern for a defensive tackle who will be 31 when the season begins. There’s a finite amount of snaps Suh can play if he’s going maintain his current level of play.

Fortunately, early indications from Rams head coach Sean McVay indicate the team’s coaching staff is at least aware of the possibility of overusing Suh. McVay complimented Suh for the way he maintains his body just ahead of the team’s offseason program last week. He also admitted the team hasn’t made up its mind just how much Suh will be on the field.

The presence of top quality defensive lineman to play alongside and instead of Suh should reduce his workload moving forward. Aaron Donald might be the most disruptive defensive player in football at the moment. Michael Brockers is also an above average defensive lineman at multiple positions. To put it plainly, the Rams have enough quality depth to reduce Suh’s workload if they choose.

McVay and company need to realize that less is more with Suh. They need to manage his workload carefully during the regular season to make sure they can get maximum production from him during the playoffs. Suh wasn’t just signed to help the Rams win the NFC West, he was brought in to help the team become a legitimate Super Bowl title contender.

In particular, the Rams will need to avoid the temptation of playing Suh too much early in the season. The team will desperately want to get a jump on division rivals like the 49ers and Seahawks. That could tempt McVay to push his team too hard early in the campaign.

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It’s important that McVay and everyone in the organization gets on the same page about Suh before the season ever begins. If they try to ride him too much in the regular season he will be a shell of himself when the playoffs begin. If they carefully manage his workload early on, he may be the dominant defensive force that helps the Rams reach the Super Bowl.