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Rams offense sees positives in Aaron Donald’s absence from camp

The Los Angeles Rams obviously would prefer having Aaron Donald happy and participating in training camp. The superstar defensive tackle, however, has been a no-show amid a contract dispute.

Todd Gurley attempted to put a positive spin — albeit in a joking manner — on Donald’s continued absence, suggesting “AD” would mess up “the whole practice” due to his disruptive presence.

“You know because it’s like you get the hand-off and he’s like right there,” Gurley said of Donald, via The Los Angeles Times. “So a guy like that … you have to sit him back and tell him to tone it down a little bit just so you can get some good reps.”

Rams quarterback Jared Goff concurred.

“It’s nice being able to get off some good plays and not have to worry about him ruining the play,” Goff added. “We miss him and hope he comes back soon.”

Rams head coach Sean McVay, who also calls the team’s offensive plays, echoed his two superstar players on Donald’s impact.

“That would be a disruption that would be more than welcomed right now,” McVay said.

Donald, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, is slated to earn $6.9 million this coming season, far below market value. The three-time, First-Team All-Pro not surprisingly feels a significant raise is in order, especially after seeing Gurley, not to mention wide receiver Brandin Cooks, sign lucrative extensions over the course of this past offseason.

Interestingly, after recent reports suggested the Rams were nearing an agreement with Donald on a long-term deal, McVay indicated that may not be the case, saying, “That’s news to us.”

That does not mean Donald and the Rams won’t come to terms in due time. But in the interim, his absence at least has been noticed — and appreciated — by the offense during camp practices.