A majority of the Los Angeles Rams’ major players did not suit up for the team’s second preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders. The lone exception was superstar Aaron Donald, who put on full pads and participated in warmups although he of course did not play in the game itself.
This is relatively unusual as players typically don’t suit up and put on pads unless they’re playing. But, according to Sean McVay, there is a specific reason for Donald’s presence before the Raiders game as he will not be making the trip to Denver for the team’s joint practices with the Broncos and preseason finale.
“He’s got a baby that’s due any day and so he’s not going to make the trip to Denver and so we wanted to make sure that he got kind of his dress rehearsal, so that was the thought process there,” McVay said. “A lot of our guys that haven’t played in the preseason will go through that next week. I wanted to be able to get that done with him this week.”
Donald and his wife Erica are due to welcome their second kid any day now, according to McVay. And for Donald, who has been open about his family’s priority above football, it only makes sense that he will be absent for the birth of another child.
He already has three kids — Jaeda, Aaric and Aaron Jr. — and it was his family that Donald almost considered retirement last season for. The love Donald has for his family has been a driving factor for nearly his entire soon-to-be Hall of Fame career.
So this week, Donald will not be with the team as he awaits his fourth child and second with his wife. Hopefully, he can return to the team next week as they make their final ramp-up for the regular season in early September.
Cooper Kupp to practice this week
In returnee news, star wide receiver Cooper Kupp appears to be back from a hamstring injury he suffered earlier this preseason. McVay revealed that Kupp — along with cornerback Derion Kendrick — will return to practice against the Broncos this week, although he did not confirm that either will play in the preseason finale however likely that may be.
Joe Noteboom could get the all clear to return either this week or next week while Logan Bruss is considered day to day with a lateral ankle sprain.