Rams DT Aaron Donald says he feels good, expects to play vs. Packers

L.A. All-Pro defensive tackle says he has no pain from rib injury
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Aaron Donald says he feels good, expects to play vs. Packers

Aaron Donald is good to go, and that’s all the Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay needs to know as he prepares for Saturday’s NFC Divisional playoff contest against the Green Bay Packers.

“He’s feeling really good,” McVay said. “We’re just going to really rest him the whole week and be as smart as possible. I mean he was just in there getting a workout in the weight room and he looked like he’s feeling pretty good to me. So, unless something unforeseen happens, the Terminator will be ready.”

In a video conference call with reporters on Wednesday, Donald said he has no pain and feels healthy heading into Saturday after suffering a rib injury during the second half of his team’s win over the Seattle Seahawks during the NFC Wild Card playoffs last week.

Donald said he suffered the injury pressuring Russell Wilson, with the Seattle quarterback falling on his side. Donald said it felt like the wind got knocked out of him. After going to the locker room for further evaluation, Donald grabbed his helmet and was ready to return to the game but stayed on the sideline once the Rams grabbed a 30-13 lead in the fourth quarter.

Asked to be specific on what the injury is, Donald wasn’t interested in going down that road. The NFL Network reported that Donald suffered torn rib cartilage.

“Man, my damn side is just sore. I’m good though. I ain’t going to sit here and talk about my damn side the whole time,” joked Donald. “I’m good. I just had a whole workout. I feel strong, I feel healthy so I’m good.”

Donald said it’s probably the first time he’s gone into a game with an injury he’ll have to play through. He acknowledged dealing with a few AC joint shoulder injuries and an oblique muscle injury in the past.

“Nothing like this,” he said. “This is the first, but I’m good. I think Reg (head athletic trainer Reggie Scott), they do a great job. I always trust the process with him. He has me on a routine they want me to do. Just be cautious and be smart. I’m not trying to tweak anything, and just make sure come game day I’m ready to do.”

Donald wouldn’t say if he would wear padding to protect the injury.

“All I can tell you is I feel good, I feel strong and I’ll be ready come Saturday,” Donald said.

Donald and the rest of the Rams’ defense have a tough task ahead in slowing down the No. 1 scoring offense in the NFL, led by Aaron Rodgers.

The last time Donald faced Green Bay and Rodgers was during the 2018 regular season, a 29-27 win for the Rams on Oct. 28 in which Donald had two sacks.

“I know he’s going to be ready to go,” McVay said. “You guys know what an elite competitor he is and how important these games are. For a guy that’s accomplished so many individual accolades, he’s all about the team, and all about accomplishing those team goals and continuing to try to advance against a great opponent, in what we know is going to be a very, very difficult challenge.”