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Rams preparing for preseason games without Aaron Donald

October 16, 2016: Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) during game action between the Los Angeles Rams and the Detroit Lions during a regular season game played at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)

The Los Angeles Rams are preparing to play preseason games without defensive tackle Aaron Donald, according to Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com.

Donald and the Rams are engaged in a stalemate in terms of contract talks, and the three-time Pro Bowler is holding out as a result.

As far as Donald and Los Angeles making any progress? Sorry, Rams fans. It hasn’t happened yet.

“Not any movement,” Los Angeles general manager Les Snead said. “There is hope. There’s hope that he’ll be a Ram a long time.”

Fellow defensive tackle Michael Brockers says that Donald’s absence is palpable.

“You feel like you’re missing something,” Brockers said on Friday. “You feel like you’re missing a piece of the puzzle. It feels a little weird. But for the most part, we’re not really focusing on it. We’re not really making it a distraction.”

Remember: the Rams have a new defensive coordinator in Wade Phillips, so not only is Donald not in game shape, but he is also behind in terms of the playbook.

Brockers isn’t worried about that, though.

“The biggest thing for him is just really getting into the playbook and learning the plays,” said Brockers. “But this guy is so special. And the way Wade uses us, I know he will succeed.”

Los Angeles selected Donald, who played his college football at the University of Pittsburgh, in the first round (13th pick overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Not only has the 26-year-old made the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons, but he has also been a First-Team All-Pro in his last two.

The Rams will play their first preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night.

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