Holdout Aaron Donald expected to miss opener for Rams

Donald's absence could hurt the Rams (1:47)

The NFL Live crew agrees that DT Aaron Donald's absence in Week 1 isn't good for the Rams defense. (1:47)

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald is expected to miss Sunday's season opener against the Indianapolis Colts as he continues his prolonged holdout, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Donald has not shown up throughout the Rams' training camp and preseason, racking up approximately $1.4 million in fines. If he doesn't report before Sunday's 1:05 p.m. PT kickoff at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, he will lose one game check from a contract that will pay him a base salary of $1.8 million.

Tanzel Smart, a rookie sixth-round pick, is expected to take Donald's spot as the starting 3-technique lineman, lining up between the left guard and the left tackle in base 3-4 sets.

Both sides have made little progress on a contract extension for Donald that could eventually make him the game's highest-paid defensive player.

Donald, 26, was a first-round pick in 2014 and is still bound to the contract he signed as a rookie. He is a two-time All-Pro. Heading into this season, Pro Football Focus considered him the NFL's best player, regardless of position.

In Donald's absence, the Rams voted six teammates as captains Thursday: Johnny Hekker, Andrew Whitworth, Todd Gurley, Trumaine Johnson, Connor Barwin and Alec Ogletree.

Information from ESPN's Alden Gonzalez was used in this report.