Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips isn’t putting too much stock into the absence of stud defensive tackle Aaron Donald from mandatory minicamp.
Well, for the moment, anyway.
“It’s something you can’t do anything about,” the 70-year-old Phillips told reporters Wednesday, via the Rams’ official website. “I mean, I don’t stay up all night, every night.
“It’s the business part of it. We feel like it will happen sooner or later — hopefully sooner — but he didn’t come until later last year and he did OK. I guess he fit in the 3-4; everybody was worried about that.”
Donald didn’t attend organized team activities and training camp last year before reporting in early September. He went on to record team highs in sacks (11) and forced fumbles (five) en route to being named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year.
The 27-year-old Donald is slated to make $6.89 million in the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. He is eligible to be fined $84,435 should he sit out the entire minicamp this week.
Donald was the first Rams player to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors after he amassed 52 tackles, 27 quarterback hits, one fumble recovery and two passes defensed in 14 games last season.
The former University of Pittsburgh standout also was named first-team All-Pro for the third straight year and to the Pro Bowl for the fourth year in a row. Donald has totaled 148 solo tackles and 39 sacks since entering the league in 2014.
Donald figures to be part of an even more imposing unit after Los Angeles added another Pro Bowl defensive tackle in Ndamukong Suh during free agency.