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Rams DC not concerned over Aaron Donald's absence

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The Los Angeles Rams continue to get a close look at a retooled defense with defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh and cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters.

One key piece, however, remains absent from the mandatory minicamp.

Defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who enters the final year of his contract on a fifth-year option, has missed the team's offseason workout program with hopes for a new deal.

While the Rams would probably enjoy seeing how Donald and Suh work together, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips didn't seem too concerned over Donald's absence.

"It's something you can't do anything about," Phillips told reporters Wednesday, via the Rams' official website. "I mean, I don't stay up all night, every night.

"It's the business part of it. We feel like it will happen sooner or later -- hopefully sooner -- but he didn't come until later last year and he did OK. I guess he fit in the 3-4; everybody was worried about that."

Phillips raises a valid point, as the Rams certainly know what they already have with Donald.

The All-Pro defensive tackle didn't attend organized team activities and training camp in 2017 last year before reporting in early September. Despite the missed time and change of defensive scheme from a 4-3 base defense to a 3-4, Donald went on to record 41 tackles (32 solo) and 11 sacks en route to being named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year.

In the meantime, the Rams have expressed optimism throughout the offseason of eventually getting a deal done. More important, the communication line remains open between the Rams and Donald, who is scheduled to earn a base salary of $6.89 million in 2018.

Phillips on Wednesday reinforced the team's outlook.

"Knowing our people, we'll get it done," Phillips told reporters. "I think they'll get it done and hopefully training camp -- early in training camp -- we'll get things done and get going."

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