THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald reported to the team’s mandatory minicamp Tuesday after missing all of the voluntary Organized Team Activity sessions this offseason.
The Rams have been open in saying that Donald’s previous absence was contract related, and general manager Les Snead indicated the team and Donald are in the serious stages of a new deal for the All-Pro defender.
Donald is entering year four of his original five-year rookie deal, with his fifth-year option already being picked up. The Rams have indicated a desire to do right by their star player. But until that happens, it seems Donald wasn’t interested in participating in the voluntary phase of offseason work.
But with minicamp falling into the mandatory category, which means the possibility of fines, Donald was with the team to open camp albeit working with a trainer off to the side rather than participating in team drills.
Nevertheless, the Rams were ecstatic to see Donald.
“It’s great to have Aaron here,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said.
McVay, though, didn’t reveal where the Rams and Donald stood on a new deal.
“There’s no more news in terms of the contract negotiations, but it’s great to have him here, participating in the walk-through,” McVay said. “With him not being here, I wanted to make sure he’s in great shape, like we know he is, but be smart in the way he takes those reps. He’s done a nice job so far today, and he’s really kept up with what’s going on mentally.”
–Defensive end Robert Quinn did not practice on Tuesday after undergoing a procedure on his right hand. Quinn watched the workout from the sideline wearing a sling.
McVay indicated the surgery was of the minor variety.
Quinn is making the move from defensive end to linebacker in Wade Phillip’s new 3-4 scheme, and he faces an important season personally as he hasn’t been able to stay healthy the last two seasons. Quinn has missed 15 games over the previous two seasons, resulting in a major drop in production going from 40 sacks from 2012 to 2014 but managing only nine the past two seasons.
–Quarterback Jared Goff is well known around the Rams building for wanting to be coached up. In McVay, he appears to have found a willing accomplice.
Goff has looked good throughout the offseason program, and McVay has praised him throughout. But as was illustrated when Goff checked off to a running back on a end-of-the-half drill that left the Rams one-yard shy of the goal line as time expired, McVay will let Goff know when he’s made a mistake.
All good by Goff.
“I think he does a great job,” Goff said. “I think he’s tough at times. There’s other times when he knows how to handle the situation (differently), but I’ve been very happy with the way he has coached me. I want him to be hard on me. I think I need it, and I think that’s how I get better and continue to stay sharp.”