LA Rams could shut down injured Aaron Donald for season

Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

In my mind, as long as the LA Rams could send All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald onto the field, it made sense to continue to compete as hard as possible. But today’s news, with six games left on the Rams’ schedule, suggests that the team takes a new approach.

High ankle sprains are significant injuries, and they need time to heal. With just six games remaining on the calendar, and the Rams had all but exhausted their eight IR to active roster transactions already, the matter is all but decided for the way the Rams will handle the latest injury news for Aaron Donald.

With the Rams now facing a 2022 NFL season without Donald, WRs Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson, and QB Matthew Stafford, the only remaining stars on the Rams team are DB Jalen Ramsey and LB Bobby Wagner.

This team is also without DT A’Shawn Robinson, DB Jordan Fuller, rookie OG Logan Bruss, OL Alaric Jackson, Chandler Brewer, Tremayne Anchrum Jr., David Edwards, and Joe Noteboom, rookie OLB Daniel Hardy, and more.

While the LA Rams cannot benefit from Day 1 in the 2023 NFL Draft, this team does hold both of their draft-day picks on Day 2. And per the combined value of the pair, the Rams hold the equivalent value of a middle first-round pick with their current projection among the first three picks made in each round.

Because the LA Rams roster has been so severely decimated, the Rams truly have no reason to rush anyone back and onto the playing field to risk re-injury this year. And by all accounts, the Rams are out of restoring players from their injured reserve roster, as the team has endured a rate of injury unheard of before.

I don’t see how the Rams have an option on the matter any longer. For the sake of the players and the team, it’s time to push any player fighting through injury to IR, get it repaired now, and target 2023 as a chance to rebound. That will give this team a good chance to give younger players invaluable experience and also to help put a tracker on the development of those younger players who will be counted on to contribute in 2023.

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