NFL Football

DT Donald's holdout might last into Rams season

(Photo by Rob Leiter via Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- IRVINE, Ca. -- The holdout of Los Angeles Rams All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald moved into the third week, with reports that he could be so entrenched in this contract dispute into the regular season.

So, what originally seemed a mild distraction is moving in a more serious direction.

"Our approach is exactly the same, we're continuing to try and find a solution," Rams head coach Sean McVay said. "He's a very important part of what we want to do. In the meantime, we've got a lot of great guys out here that are working hard and getting ready for this Oakland game, and just approaching every single day with the situations that we're throwing at them.

"Whether that report is true or not, we're continuing to try to find a solution and we've got some time until that does come. We've got to always have contingency plans in place. But, like I said, that doesn't change our approach because we're still trying to find that solution to get Aaron here and be a part of what we're doing and if not we need to be ready to adjust."

The addition of wide receiver Sammy Watkins made an immediate impression on the Rams, who are marveling over the much-needed athletic ability he brings.

In fact, second-year quarterback Jared Goff had to take a step back after a pass completion to Watkins when his new teammate flew across the field upon catching the ball.

"I did a little bit," Goff said. "You try not to, but I did kind of turn around, like, 'Everyone see that? All right.' It was a good catch and hopefully something that won't be quite a surprise anymore."

Said head coach Sean McVay: "When the ball is in his hands you can feel his speed and his juice down the field. I thought it was good to get him out here. He was comfortable with the things we were asking him to do, so it was great to have Sammy out there and get him in the mix."

Goff had a couple of bad days with interceptions on Monday and Tuesday. He rebounded on Wednesday and Thursday with much crisper practices. And said he'd learn from the mistakes earlier in the week.

"I was being a little bit aggressive the last couple days," Goff said. "Some plays I can't make. I'm still learning and still growing. You should test your limits a little bit, I think, but at the same time I have to be smarter than that and take care of the ball better than that, and I will. In practice, you just try some things you might not try other times, but you still have to be smart with it."

NOTES: Wide receiver Josh Reynolds, a rookie from Texas A&M, returned to practice Thursday after missing a few days with leg issues and made an immediate impact. ... Among others not practicing Thursday were cornerbacks Kayvon Webster, Nickell Robey-Coleman, and Mike Jordan; wide receiver Tavon Austin; running back Lance Dunbar; Offensive lineman Andrew Donnal and linebackers Samson Ebukam and Nic Grigsby.

Updated August 17, 2017

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