Despite Donald holding out during training camp and the preseason, it was widely accepted that the former Pittsburgh Panthers star and the All-Pro defensive lineman would not hold out during the regular season.
Though the team and Donald's representation have not yet come to terms on a contract extension, both sides will continue to work to reach a solution. Donald is scheduled to earn $1.8 million this season.
Donald is entering only his fourth NFL season, but he is absolutely playing at the level of the other two best defensive players in the league.
Donald did pass his physical, which PFT reported, but Donald is still at least one week, if not more from being in game shape. Donald is one of those players, and they need to get him a contract soon that better suits one of the best players in the NFL. He was named 2014 AP Defensive Rookie of the year, and has been a Pro Bowl selection in each of his first three years.
As part of the agreement to get Donald back to practice, however, he will be paid his weekly game checks even if he doesn't appear in the game. The Rams have converted to a new defensive scheme under Wade Phillips.
Tanzel Smart, a rookie sixth-round pick, is expected to take Donald's spot as the starting 3-technique lineman, lining up between the left guard and left tackle in base 3-4 sets.