The Los Angeles Rams pair, which has the team’s two biggest guaranteed contracts, one on each side, will be away against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
Rams coach Sean McVay said on Wednesday that defender Aaron Donald (ankle) and quarterback Matthew Stafford (neck) would not be available when the Rams (3-8) tried to break their five-game losing streak.
Donald is one of McVay’s last major accusations to be revealed, but the nine-year pro’s prediction of a high ankle sprain wasn’t so bad.
McVay said Donald’s injury to the Kansas City Chiefs last week would not require surgery. According to McVay, Donald, who was named three-time NFL defensive player of the year, will be evaluated week-to-week.
Donald, who broke the team’s record of five sacks this year, signed a three-year, $90 million extension, all guaranteed, prior to the encore season leading up to the Rams’ Super Bowl 56 win.
Stafford will skip his third game in four weeks as he remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol. Stafford leads the offensive with $130 million in guaranteed compensation as part of his four-year, $160 million deal.
John Wolford or Bryce Perkins, who had previously been sidelined for neck issues, will start for Stafford.
As the Rams season continues to unravel, the idea of shutting down Donald and Stafford for the rest of the year isn’t unreasonable.
Wide receivers Cooper Kupp (ankle) are absent for at least two more weeks and Allen Robinson (foot) is having end-of-season surgery on the horizon.
Especially on the offensive line, which started 11 different combinations this year, there are many player discomforts interspersed with the squad.
As this season heats up, Coaches may be wise to rest the players or at least not rush the injured.
A seven-time All-Pro selection, Donald has been resilient throughout his career. He missed two regular season games, both due in 2017.
He skipped the opening that year after sitting in training camp while angling for a six-year, $135 million deal that came with a $87 million guarantee.
Donald also didn’t play in the final regular season finale that season because McVay sat in the starting players before the playoffs.