Aaron Donald to Start vs. Redskins After Contract Holdout

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2017

Jan 1, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) walks to the field prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Donald's long-awaited return to the Los Angeles Rams will culminate with the All-Pro defensive tackle making his 2017 debut on Sunday against the Washington Redskins.

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, Rams head coach Sean McVay announced Friday that Donald would start against the Redskins but didn't specify how many snaps his star defender would play. 

Donald missed all of training camp and the preseason while holding out for a new contract from the Rams. The 26-year-old has two more years remaining on his rookie contract and will make $1.8 million in 2017, per Spotrac.

The Rams received a pleasant surprise on Sept. 9, one day before their season opener against the Indianapolis Colts, when Donald ended his holdout. He didn't play against the Colts because of his prolonged absence. 

Donald returned to the practice field for the first time on Thursday. McVay told reporters the three-time Pro Bowler looked "fast and fresh," per Myles Simmons of the team's official website

In his first three NFL seasons, Donald has established himself as one of the league's best defensive players. Matt Harmon ranked him as the NFL's best interior defensive lineman in 2016. 

After an impressive 46-9 win over the Colts in Week 1 without Donald, the Rams get their top defender back into the fold as they look for a 2-0 start for the first time since 2001.