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Aaron Donald Out of 2023 Pro Bowl with Injury; Replaced by Commanders' Daron Payne

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 19, 2023

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) waits to be introduced before an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
AP Photo/Kyusung Gong

Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald will not participate in the Pro Bowl Games because of the high ankle sprain that cost him the final six games of the regular season. Washington Commanders defensive tackle Daron Payne will take Donald's place.

Donald, who has earned Pro Bowl honors in all nine of his NFL seasons, had 49 tackles, 11 quarterback hits and five sacks in his 11 games.

The former Pitt star is also a seven-time All-Pro, three-time Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year award winner and a Super Bowl champion.

Donald may not be at the Pro Bowl Games in Las Vegas on February 5, but we do know he'll be back for his 10th NFL season in 2023.

Donald's future with the Rams looked in doubt after a change to his Twitter biography, leading to speculation that he may retire. He soon made a change back, however.

Dov Kleiman @NFL_DovKleiman

Update: Aaron Donald now changed his bio back. <a href="https://t.co/mvuRmFy9aW">pic.twitter.com/mvuRmFy9aW</a>

Donald later confirmed ex-Rams teammate Chris Long's public comments that he would not be hanging up his cleats.

AD_99 @AaronDonald97

Tell em C Lo yeah I'm playn never said I wasn't πŸ€¦πŸ½β€β™‚οΈπŸ€·πŸ½β€β™‚οΈ

That's welcome news for a Rams team that finished 5-12 after getting hit hard by injuries on both sides of the ball, with quarterback Matt Stafford and wide receiver Cooper Kupp also missing the end of the season.

As for Payne, he's a well-deserving Pro Bowl Games participant after racking up 11.5 sacks, 64 tackles and 20 quarterback hits. This marks the first Pro Bowl honor of his five-year career.