The All-Pro defensive tackle remained away on Monday, and while coach Sean McVay reiterated he's "optimistic" Donald will report before Sunday's game, the coach admitted the hour is growing late for the defensive monster to be ready to suit up Week 1.
"He is not ruled out, but right now he's not here. Guys are ready to go and we're getting a plan in place and the preparation goes on," McVay said, via the team's official website. "Fortunately, we've got a bunch of guys that we feel confident in that are ready to step up. Like we said, our message continues to remain the same: If he's here, great, we'll accept him back with open arms. But in the meantime we've got to get ready to play a football game and we know the Colts are getting ready as well."
Donald has held out the entire offseason in an effort to get a new contract. The 26-year-old is under team control for the next two seasons, scheduled to make $1.8 million and $6.9 million, respectively. Donald is massively underpaid, and withholding services is his only leverage at this point.
With the Rams not practicing Tuesday, Wednesday is the next time the team will hit the practice field. McVay wouldn't put a deadline on when Donald would need to return to play this week.
"Knowing that Sunday at 1 o'clock that ball is going to be kicked off and we've got to be ready to go, we'd love to have '99' be a part of it," McVay said. "But if not, I have a lot of confidence in the defensive line and our defense as a whole that they'll be ready to go and they'll have a great week of preparation."