Next on list of Rams who might not be able to play: Aaron Donald

Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) battles Chiefs guard Nick Allegretti (73) in the trenches.
Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) battles Chiefs guard Nick Allegretti (73) in the trenches. Donald suffered an ankle injury during the loss.
(Reed Hoffmann / Associated Press)

As the Rams continue to lose star players because of injuries, it is becoming increasingly clear that coach Sean McVay and team executives could decide to have them return for the remainder of this lost season — or shut them down and reboot for next year.

Defensive lineman Aaron Donald is the latest casualty.

The three-time NFL defensive player of the year suffered a high-ankle sprain in Sunday’s defeat by the Kansas City Chiefs and his status for an NFC West game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at SoFi Stadium and beyond is to be determined, McVay said Monday.

“He’s still meeting with the doctors and getting the necessary scans,” McVay said during a videoconference with reporters.


Donald, 31,has missed only two games in his nine-year career. After ending a holdout, Donald sat out the Rams’ 2017 season opener. McVay rested Donald and other starters in that season’s regular-season finale.

Rams-Chiefs takeaways: L.A. was missing its starting quarterback and receivers, so Bryce Perkins and the young receivers stepped up as the defense tried to keep Chiefs under control.

Nov. 27, 2022

Donald joins a list of marquee Rams players who have suffered injuries in the last month.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford remains in concussion protocol because of what McVay has described as a neck issue. Stafford’s availability for the game against the Seahawks is to be determined.

Receiver Cooper Kupp is on injured reserve for at least two more games while recovering from ankle surgery. Receiver Allen Robinson will be out the rest of the season because of a foot injury that requires surgery.

Last week, McVay announced that defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson would have season-ending knee surgery.

Now Donald, a seven-time All-Pro, could be out.

“When it rains it pours,” McVay said.

Donald, who received a massive raise after the Rams won Super Bowl LVI, has five sacks for a team that is 3-8 and has lost five games in a row. Donald had three tackles in the 26-10 loss to the Chiefs.


Rams head coach Sean McVay look on during the second half of their game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Rams coach Sean McVay looks on during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs. His roster has changed each week because of injuries.
(Reed Hoffmann / Associated Press)

McVay said the Rams would take “the appropriate steps for Aaron in terms of how we move forward and what that means as far as his availability for this week and the weeks to come.”

Has McVay considered keeping the injured star players out of the remaining six games?

“You take each individual case,” McVay said, adding, “There’s a lot of stuff that goes into these games and I think as a competitor, for those players and really just for our guys, you want to be mindful of all the things that go into that, while I’ve also consistently said being smart.

“And so those are all factors. But we are trying to compete to get the results that we want, but man, it certainly has been something that I don’t think anybody could have ever predicted.”

Even McVay could not avoid injury.

On Sunday, reserve tight end Roger Carter accidentally collided with the sixth-year coach, Carter’s right shoulder pad slamming into the left side of McVay’s head. On Monday, McVay’s left cheek appeared to remain swollen.

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Nov. 27, 2022

McVay quipped that he would be “limited for the rest of the week with my jaw.” He said that he had spoken with Carter, who apologized for the “innocent little accident” that occurred as the Rams prepared to punt after their first series.

“No hard feelings,” McVay said. “Just a little bit of a sore jaw.”

If Stafford remains sidelined this week, Bryce Perkins or John Wolford would start against the Seahawks.

In the defeat by the Chiefs, Perkins passed for 100 yards and a touchdown, with two interceptions, in his first NFL start.

Wolford suffered a neck injury during a Nov. 13 start against the Arizona Cardinals. He was not active for a game against the New Orleans Saints and was limited in practices before the game against the Chiefs.

“We’re going to work through that,” McVay said when asked who would be the starter if both are physically sound. “It might be a combination of both.”


Receiver Lance McCutcheon suffered a shoulder sprain against the Chiefs, McVay said. Linebacker Terrell Lewis was evaluated for a back issue.