Rams' Aaron Donald Likely Won't Return from Ankle Injury This Season, McVay Says

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 23, 2022

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - NOVEMBER 27: Aaron Donald #99 of the Los Angeles Rams takes to the field before a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images)
Jason Hanna/Getty Images

The 4-10 Los Angeles Rams are playing out the string on the rest of the 2022 campaign, which means star defensive tackle Aaron Donald likely won't take the field again until 2023.

Head coach Sean McVay told reporters Donald will "probably not" be cleared to return for the final three games of this season.

There was some speculation that Donald would retire after helping the Rams win the Super Bowl last season, but he and the team reworked his deal and made him the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history.

Yet this season hasn't gone according to plan for him or the team, which is eliminated from postseason contention.

The nine-time Pro Bowler has appeared in 11 games and has a career-worst five sacks. The second-lowest mark of his career is eight, which he posted during the 2016 campaign. What's more, his streak of five straight seasons with double-digit sack totals will come to an end.

There is still no questioning Donald's place as one of the best players in the game with a resume that includes seven All-Pro selections, three Defensive Player of the Year awards and a Defensive Rookie of the Year.

He also still showed enough to be named to the Pro Bowl this season, although he may not participate in the activities if he is still dealing with the ankle injury.

It seemed as if the Rams may compete for a playoff spot following a 3-3 start, but they proceeded to lose six straight to drop out of contention. Donald isn't the only notable player dealing with injury concerns, as Matthew Stafford has been limited to nine games and Cooper Kupp hasn't played since Week 10.

Los Angeles finishes with contests against the Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers and Seattle Seahawks.