Thousand Oaks, Calif. ( Associated Press) – Aaron Donald is unlikely to return to action with the Los Angeles Rams’ defense this season.
Donald will miss his fourth straight game with a sprained ankle when the Rams (4-19) host the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
Coach Sean McVay admitted Friday that he doesn’t expect the seven-time All-Pro lineman and three-time Defensive Player of the Year to play the final two meaningless games of the Rams’ disastrous Super Bowl title defense.
“He hasn’t been released yet, I don’t think that’s going to change in the next two weeks,” McVay admitted.
The 31-year-old Donald hadn’t missed a game through injury in his NFL career before this disappointing end to his ninth season. He had a career-low five sacks in 11 games, yet was named to his ninth Pro Bowl.
The Rams had lost any hope of advancing to the playoffs after a six-game losing streak, yet they did not want to rule Donald out for the rest of the season despite a serious back injury.
It appears that Donald intends to return, even if it is shorter games for the Rams, who tied the 1999 Denver Broncos for the most losses by a defending champion.
McVay said, “Obviously this is a guy you’ve earned the right to talk to him”.
In recent weeks the coach said the same thing about Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp, who sprained his right ankle last month, and quarterback Matthew Stafford, who suffered a spinal injury. Although no one was ruled out completely for the season, it is unlikely that they would play the last two games.