Rams DT Donald on rib injury: ‘Feel real good’

  • Covered Rams for two years for Los Angeles Times
  • Previously covered the Falcons
  • Has covered the NBA and college football and basketball

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald said the rib injury he suffered in a wild-card playoff win over the Seattle Seahawks is feeling good and that he’s on track to play against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in a divisional-round playoff.

“Feel good, feel real good,” Donald said Wednesday. “No pain, feel healthy.”

After a minute of questions about his rib injury, including one probing about the extent of the injury, Donald grew tired of the subject.

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

A day before Donald spoke with reporters, Rams coach Sean McVay said that the star defensive tackle would rest from practices this week, adding that “unless something unforeseen happens, the Terminator will be ready.”

Donald went through a workout in the weight room on Tuesday and Wednesday, but acknowledged that he would follow the recommendations of the training staff to ensure that he would not suffer any setback ahead of Saturday.

“Just be cautious, be smart,” said Donald, who has not missed a game due to injury in his seven-year career. “Not trying to tweak nothing, make sure that come game day I’m ready to go.”

Donald suffered the injury in the third quarter of a 30-20 win over the Seahawks on Saturday when he hit quarterback Russell Wilson, who landed on Donald as the two went to the ground. Donald said he felt like he got the wind knocked out of him.

“I was hurting,” he said.

Nevertheless, after returning to the field from the locker room, Donald said he considered returning to the game until the Rams scored with 4:46 remaining to take a 30-13 lead.

“That kind of put it away, so it was like a ‘Let’s rest up for next week,’ type thing,” said Donald, who had two sacks in the game.

A two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Donald had 13.5 sacks in the regular season for the Rams’ top-ranked defense, which finished atop the league in efficiency, yards allowed per game and points allowed per game.

As he prepares for Saturday’s game at a chilly Lambeau Field, Donald did not express concern about how his injury would respond in temperatures forecasted to top out in the mid-30s. And he was uncertain whether he will need any additional protective equipment around his ribs.

“I feel good, I feel strong and I’ll be ready to go come Saturday,” Donald said.

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