Aaron Donald out East as Rams begin Week 1 prep

Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay might be "optimistic" Aaron Donald will return soon, but the team's best player is giving no indication he'll be on the field versus the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday morning that as the Rams begin game-week practice, Donald is still out East.

Donald has been working out at his alma mater, Pittsburgh, as he holds out for a new deal. Yes, it's about a five-hour flight from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles, but the defensive tackle not even being in the city indicates he doesn't believe a deal is close to coming to fruition.

Rapoport added that both sides tried to get an agreement done, but there is no deal as of now. Donald is scheduled to make $1.8 million in 2017 and $6.9 million in 2018. Both figures are well below his worth as one of the most dominant defenders in the NFL.

McVay wouldn't rule out Donald for Sunday, and said for the umpteenth time that he's "optimistic" his best player will return before the season starts. As the hour grows later and later, and Donald remains out East, that optimism dwindles.

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