No, it wasn’t because of a designated veteran rest day. It’s because the All-Pro defensive lineman and franchise’s newest all-time sack leader is dealing with some reported swelling.
Donald, as noted by ESPN Rams reporter Lindsey Thiry, banged his knee against one Seattle Seahawks player during the Rams’ 26-17 road win on Thursday, October 7.
Via Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic, Donald is listed as day-to-day but he is expected to suit up on Sunday in the Week 6 matchup with the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.
Donald is Carrying Notable Streak Into Sunday’s Game
The 6-foot-1, 280-pounder isn’t expected to be on crutches, let alone sidelined, for this upcoming game against the Giants.
And that means Donald will bring a consecutive streak in tow at East Rutherford, New Jersey: Consecutive starts.
Including playoffs, Donald has started in 59 straight games dating back to the January 6, 2018 NFC Wild Card playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons. Donald is yet to miss any action due to injury or taking a rest game.
Sunday’s game will mark his 60th consecutive start.
According to American Football Database, former Minnesota Viking Jim Marshall holds the NFL defensive lineman record for most consecutive starts with 270 between 1961-1979. For defensive tackles, another Viking Alan Page holds the best mark with 215 straight starts.
Donald Has Another Streak
Along with starts, the 30-year-old Donald has one more edge on the Giants: Consecutive wins over the franchise.
After beginning his career with an 0-2 start versus NYG, Donald has now guided the Rams to two straight victories over the NFC East opponent. That includes last season’s 17-9 defensive battle in front of a fan-less SoFi Stadium. Donald sacked quarterback Daniel Jones once and chased him with five quarterback hurries.
Former Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley lined him up in a variety of spots on the line. According to Pro Football Focus, Donald lined up on 35 plays over the tackle as a defensive end, slid inside to the “B” gap on 12 defensive snaps and moved outside on 11 plays.
In four games against the Giants, Donald has put together the following stats per Pro Football Reference: Nine tackles, seven solo stops, five QB hits, 1.5 sacks and one forced fumble.
This time, Donald and the Rams’ defense will face a Giants protection that has allowed five sacks. Left tackle Nate Solder has surrendered the most sacks on the team with two. So it’s more than likely Donald will be placed on Solder’s side to test the 32-year-old.
Other Injury Updates
Rams head coach Sean McVay revealed the extent of starting cornerback Darious Williams’ ankle injury.
“I see it as three weeks,” McVay said, as the Rams have placed Williams on injured reserve. “That’s why we were kind of going back and forth because he felt like alright, it’s probably going to be two weeks, might be on that fringe of returning for that third game. But I do expect, if he progresses the way that we anticipate, that he’ll be back after that three weeks.”
Before his injury, Williams was on the field on 58 defensive plays in the nine-point road win at Lumen Field. He was targeted on three passes but allowed just two catches for 17 yards while covering three different Seahawk weapons in Tyler Lockett, Will Dissly and Freddie Swain. The Pro Bowl WR Lockett didn’t catch a pass on Williams on the one pass thrown his direction.
Meanwhile, placekicker Matt Gay (ankle) was limited during Wednesday’s session. Veterans Andrew Whitworth and Terrell Lewis both took veteran rest days.