THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Defensive tackle Aaron Donald's prolonged holdout spilled into Wednesday, while the Los Angeles Rams prepared their game plan for Sunday's season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
Rams head coach Sean McVay, however, continued to say he "will not rule [Donald] out" for Week 1, even though the game is now only four days away.
"We're still in the same place," McVay said. "I know I kind of sound monotonous, [saying], 'We're trying to find a solution.' Which is exactly the truth. There's no update right now."
Tanzel Smart, a rookie sixth-round pick, is currently expected to take Donald's spot as the starting 3-technique, lining up between the left guard and the left tackle in base 3-4 sets. Nose tackle Michael Brockers and defensive end Ethan Westbrooks would line up alongside of him.
There's still no telling when Donald will show up, with both sides making little progress on a contract extension that could eventually make him the game's highest paid defensive player.
Donald racked up somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.4 million in fines for not showing up throughout training camp and the preseason. If he doesn't show up before Sunday's 1:05 p.m. PT kickoff from Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, he will lose one of 17 game checks -- players also are paid during bye weeks -- for a rookie contract that will pay him a base salary of $1.8 million.
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano is "preparing for [Donald] to be there."
"And if he's not, he's not," Pagano said. "It would be foolish on our part not to study and get our guys prepared for that scenario. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. But we're going to prepare accordingly."