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Will Aaron Donald return to the Rams this season?

Donald has been ruled out for Week 13

Los Angeles Rams v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images

Aaron Donald has made a career out of torturing the Seattle Seahawks. But the Los Angeles Rams announced that Donald will not be making his usual appearance against the Seahawks at SoFi Stadium this coming Sunday. He has been ruled out with an ankle injury.

Donald suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 12’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, though it was not announced that he had been injured until Monday.

Will Aaron Donald play for the Rams again this season? Or in the future?

At 3-8, the Rams do not have to worry about competing for the playoffs. Even winning out may not be enough to get a wild card spot over the Washington Commanders or New York Giants as the NFC East could still finish with all four teams at least 10-7.

But as a competitor, Donald may not want to sit out any games unless he is too injured to play or would put himself at risk. The Rams can’t simply lay down and give up the rest of their games, as a respectable finish could go a long way towards attracting free agents and premium assistant coaches in 2023. Lose the last 11 games of the year and L.A. might not seem as attractive.

And the Rams must also compete with the Chargers, as anyone who likes the idea of playing in SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles may instead choose to go to a team that could at least make the playoffs this year.

Donald has been one of the NFL’s best players—ever—and if the ankle sprain keeps him out six weeks, so be it. But if Donald plans to return to the Rams in 2023, and he’s healthy, it could be serve the Rams to have him on the defense even if the team is only going to go 5-12 or 6-11.

But if Donald sits out and the Rams do lose their last 11 games going into the offseason, couldn’t that also make Aaron Donald question if he wants to be on the team next year? IF the Rams shut everything down for 2022, they might not be able to kick the lights back on in 2023.