The Los Angeles Rams contract situation with defensive end Aaron Donald has dominated the team headlines going into the 2017 NFL season. The reigning All Pro was absent for the majority of team activities in search of a new deal that would make him one of the league’s highest-paid players.
Despite head coach Sean McVay’s optimism that he would be back in time for Week 1 versus the Indianapolis Colts, it seems Donald is expected to miss the season opener, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter:
No surprise to anyone, but with no recent progress, Rams holdout DT Aaron Donald expected to miss Sunday's regular-season opener ve Colts.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 7, 2017
While hearing the news may be a bit hard to believe for Rams fans, it is not the least bit surprising considering there has been no word from either side on potentially coming to an agreement. The Rams front office had reportedly met with Donald’s representatives in Atlanta to discuss a short-term solution. However, it is apparent that no such deal was ever reached.
Donald has already racked up over a million dollars in fines by not attending camp and will continue to lose money with each game he skips. In the meantime, Los Angeles will rely on rookie defensive lineman Tanzel Smart to help hold it down in Donald’s absence. Fortunately, for the Rams, the Colts will also be without their star player in quarterback Andrew Luck.