Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald has officially ended his holdout and reported to the team one day before the team will open the season against the Indianapolis Colts, according to Pro Football Talk.
The late arrival means that Donald will not be on the field when the Rams begin the season Sunday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The holdout for Donald ends without a contract, which means it could be tough for the Rams to keep the defensive tackle when his rookie deal expires.
With his fast rise and status as the Rams’ best defensive player, Donald was severely underpaid heading into the season, with two years left on his rookie contract. Currently, he’s scheduled to make just $1.802 million, a bargain for the Rams but a pittance for a player of Donald’s caliber.
He started his holdout at the beginning of camp, with reports suggesting that Donald was ready to miss regular-season games. That was always a long shot, given that it’s an extreme negotiating tactic, but his late arrival to the Rams means it’s unlikely he plays Sunday.
Donald has been an instant star from the moment the Rams selected him with the 13th overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft. Through three seasons, he has 28 sacks and four forced fumbles, emerging as one of the league’s best interior pass rushers.
It might be a bit of a transition for Donald, who missed a month of practice and is moving to defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ preferred 3-4 scheme. Still, he has the talent to seamlessly ease into the system and continue being one of the most disruptive defensive linemen in football.