McVay hopes to see Donald by end of week

Aaron Donald is set to play as many preseason snaps as quarterback Jared Goff: zero.

The difference between the two is that the Rams QB has been at practices, while the defensive tackle remains in a protracted holdout.

Rams coach Sean McVay addressed Donald's contract situation on Sunday, noting that it's getting late in the process. The coach said he wouldn't put a hard deadline on Donald needing to return in order to be ready to play Week 1.

"I don't think would be," McVay said, via the team's official website. "But I think in an ideal situation, you get a week and a half, two weeks of preparation.

"[He's] kind of been through a situation like this if he is able to report. But I think for us to be able to fully acclimate him and get him into a spot that would make us feel good about him feeling good some of the things schematically and then also getting the work necessary just from a 'getting your body acclimated to truly playing football,' I'd say you'd like to have him by the end of this week."

McVay mentioning the end of the week is the closest anyone on the team has come to putting a timeframe on negotiations.

Donald held out last offseason and did not report until the day before the Rams' first regular-season game. The 27-year-old sat out the first tilt last year and still earned Defensive Player of the Year honors.

The Rams' brass has continued to express optimism a deal can get done that would make Donald the highest-paid defender in NFL history. Thus far, however, a bridge remains.

"We'd like to see Aaron here," McVay said. "But if not, if we're not able to, we sure have a lot of confidence in the guys that are here. And [we'll] continue to work with them and know that they'll step up if they have to in his absence."