No surprise, Aaron Donald wasn’t at his peak form during his season debut for the Los Angeles Rams last weekend.
Donald made his season debut in Week 2 after holding out the entire preseason over a contract dispute with the team. He was expected to see limited action and was on the field for 48 snaps according to ESPN, which was nearly 70 percent of the defensive snaps in the game.
Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips says Donald “showed flashes, but he was rusty” in the Week 2 loss to Washington, per ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez. Donald even said he needs to play better.
Donald is expected to see increased action in the Rams’ Week 3 contest at San Francisco on Thursday night.
The Los Angeles Rams had Aaron Donald back in the fold on Sunday, but it’s fair to say he did not make the impact they might have hoped he would make.
The star defensive lineman had two tackles in the Rams’ loss to Washington, but failed to beat several blockers one-on-one as the defense struggled to handle Kirk Cousins and the Redskins. Donald knew it, too, and was critical of his performance after the game.
“I don’t like how I played today,” Donald said, via Lindsey Thiry of the Los Angeles Times.
Donald was particularly unhappy with his inability to win the one-on-one battles in the trenches.
“I need to win those, that’s what they put me out there for,” Donald said. “Just got to knock off the cobwebs and go out there and play a lot better.”
The Rams always knew Donald was going to be slightly limited in his first game back, and considering he missed all of training camp and only has a week of practices under his belt, rust is probably a fair excuse.
The Los Angeles Rams will have their star defensive lineman back in action on Sunday.
Head coach Sean McVay announced Friday that defensive tackle Aaron Donald will start on Sunday against the Washington Redskins.
This news does not come as a huge surprise. What we still don’t know is just how much Donald will play. Indications are that he will be on a snap count for this one, though it’s unclear exactly what that count will be. Regardless, the Rams will be thrilled to welcome Donald back into the fold.
Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald is expected to play limited snaps in his first game back from his holdout.
Donald ended his holdout last week and did not play in the Rams’ Week 1 win over the Indianapolis Colts. He’s expected to play (and start) on Sunday against Washington in Week 2. However, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips says Donald will play limited snaps in the opener.
Another interesting part about Donald’s debut is that he will be playing in Phillips’ 3-4 defense rather than the 4-3 defense he’s been used to in the past few seasons. Regardless of the system, Donald, who is one of the best defensive players in the game, will likely make a big impact.
Los Angeles Rams defensive Aaron Donald ended his lengthy holdout on Saturday, and the team is not going to penalize him for skipping all of its offseason program and training camp.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the Rams waived $1.49 million in fines when Donald passed his physical and rejoined the team. Donald would have risked forfeiting weekly game checks of $106,014 if he missed any regular season games, and it’s possible the Rams would have made him pay the fines if he chose to go that route.
Donald, who has recorded 28 sacks in his first three seasons, is one of the best interior defensive linemen in football. He is scheduled to make $1.8 million in 2017 and $6.9 million next season after the Rams picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie deal. Donald’s decision to end his holdout could indicate that some progress was made in long-term contract negotiations.
Donald will not play in Sunday’s opener against the Indianapolis Colts but could be ready to go for Week 2.
Defensive tackle Aaron Donald is back with the Los Angeles Rams, but that does not necessarily mean he will return to the field next week.
According to Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk, the Rams will not play their star defensive lineman until he is ready for an actual game. If that takes 2-3 weeks, they are prepared to wait it out and bring him in only when he’s prepared to do so. That means it is entirely possible that Donald does not make his 2017 debut until their Oct. 1 trip to Dallas.
As part of the agreement to get Donald back to practice, however, he will be paid his weekly game checks even if he doesn’t appear in the game.
As previously noted, Donald is definitely out for the season opener. It sounds like the Rams will take things week-to-week after that.
In a rather abrupt about-face, Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald has ended his holdout and has joined up with the team.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported that Donald arrived on Saturday and took his physical, though he still will not play in Sunday’s season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
Donald missed all of training camp due to his holdout and it had looked like there was no end in sight as recently as this week. Ultimately, he seems to have concluded that being vastly underpaid is better than missing out on his checks completely.
If you’re going to win games in the NFL, you need to have playmakers. These are the guys who can turn a game around with a big play and lift the team when they need it most.
What makes a playmaker? It can be anything, really. A quarterback who can make the pinpoint throw under pressure; the running back who can burst through a hole for a huge play; the wide receiver who can make the spectacular catch for that big touchdown. They don’t even need to be offensive — defenders who have that ability to get a big pick or blow up a play in the backfield qualify too.
Here’s a look at the best playmaker on each NFL team.
Arizona Cardinals — David Johnson, RB
Few players in the league are as skilled or versatile as Arizona’s third-year running back. Johnson truly took over the role in 2016, rushing for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was no slouch through the air, either, with five catches per game. In total, no player had more yards from scrimmage than Johnson. Even bigger numbers may be in store in 2017.
Atlanta Falcons — Julio Jones, WR
Quarterback Matt Ryan has an argument here for the first time in his career, but for the Falcons, it’s still all about Jones, who is one of the premier receivers the league has to offer. While his 2016 didn’t quite match his lofty 2015 numbers, Jones still racked up over 1,400 yards. He averaged over 100 yards receiving per game for the fourth consecutive season, which is no small feat. Want big plays? The star receiver averaged 17 yards per catch for the NFC champions. And now the team wants him to get more touchdowns.
Aaron Donald’s holdout shows no signs of ending anytime soon.
According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News, the star defensive tackle remains absent from practice on Monday, and is growing increasingly unlikely to play on Sunday.
Tuesday is a day off for the players, so even if Donald returns to camp Wednesday — which seems unlikely — playing at the weekend seems like a long shot.
It doesn’t seem much progress has been made on ending Donald’s holdout. The Rams met with the lineman’s reps last week, but nothing further has come of it, and now Donald seems willing to miss games as part of the holdout.
The Los Angeles Rams are trying to find a solution for Aaron Donald’s holdout situation.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Rams executives flew to Atlanta on Wednesday to meet with representatives for Donald, the defensive lineman who is currently holding out for a new contract.
It’s not clear whether any progress was made as part of the meeting or whether Donald will show up once the regular season starts.
One of the NFL’s elite defensive linemen, Donald has the Rams in a tough spot. There have even been reports that he could sit out the season, which is the last thing Los Angeles needs at this point.