THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Seven-time All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald will miss a game because of injury for the first time in his NFL career when his Los Angeles Rams host Seattle on Sunday.

Donald has a high ankle sprain from the Rams’ loss at Kansas City last Sunday, and Los Angeles coach Sean McVay ruled him out Wednesday.

Donald sprained his ankle in the first quarter against the Chiefs, but kept playing on it, McVay said. He won’t need surgery, but his ironman streak will end at 86 consecutive games since the finale of the 2017 regular season.

“That’s what makes Aaron, Aaron,” McVay said. “He’s unbelievable. To be able to play through that, the toughness, everything that he embodies is what you love.”

Donald has missed only two games in his nine-year NFL career, both in 2017. He sat out the Rams’ season opener on the day after ending his contract holdout, and he sat out the finale to rest for the playoffs.

Donald has five sacks in 11 games this year, the slowest pace of his career, but he remains the anchor of a solid Los Angeles defense that has soundly outperformed its struggling offense all season long.


“So much of it is built around him,” McVay said. “He is truly one of one. You don’t replace anybody like him. Guys will be asked to step up, (and we) have confidence in those guys, but I think Aaron’s resume speaks for itself, the way that he works, the way that he brings others with him, so it’s a huge loss.”

BROWNS: Deshaun Watson is ready to play, not talk.

Cleveland’s starting quarterback didn’t address the media before practicing for the first time since being reinstated by the NFL from his 11-game suspension for alleged sexual misconduct.

Watson has been accused of harassment and assault by more than two dozen women during massage therapy sessions while he played for Houston. On Sunday, Watson will make his debut for the Browns against the Texans, the team that drafted him in 2017 and traded him to Cleveland in March.

In August, the 27-year-old Watson accepted the league suspension, a $5 million fine and agreed to undergo therapy and counseling. He returned to the Browns last month and has been practicing for the past two weeks.

Typically, Cleveland’s starting quarterback speaks on Wednesday before Sunday games. That’s been the case with Jacoby Brissett all season.


However, Watson didn’t address reporters from the portable podium. He spent some time sitting in his chair wearing headphones and checking his phone during the 45 minutes the locker room was open.

The Browns did not provide any reason for Watson not speaking for the first time since his suspension was announced on Aug. 18.

When asked why Watson didn’t speak Wednesday, Browns Coach Kevin Stefanski said: “That’s not my department.”

The last time he conducted an interview, Watson continued to insist he had done nothing wrong.

He has settled 23 lawsuits filed by women who said Watson exposed himself, touched them or kissed them against their will. Two other lawsuits remaining pending. Two grand juries in Texas have declined to indict him on criminal charges.

On Tuesday, attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents most of the women who sued Watson, said about 10 of them plan to attend Sunday’s game at Houston’s NRG Stadium. Buzbee said the women intend to make a statement that “we matter.”


When he returns to the field this week, it will be Watson’s first regular-season game in 700 days. .

FALCONS: Tight end Kyle Pitts is done for the season because of a knee injury.

Coach Arthur Smith gave an update on Pitts’ status after the second-year player revealed on social media that he had a procedure on his right knee the day before.

Pitts, a Pro Bowler in his rookie season, sustained a knee injury in a Nov. 20 win over the Bears when tackled low. He was placed on injured reserve amid reports that he has sustained a torn MCL and would need surgery.

Smith said Pitts is expected to make a full recovery ahead of next season.

DOLPHINS: Dolphins left tackle Terron Armstead could return sooner than initially feared after he suffered a pectoral injury against Houston.


Miami Coach Mike McDaniel said Armstead will be evaluated on a game-to-game basis, but he did not rule out a potential return Sunday when the Dolphins face San Francisco. Armstead will not require surgery.

BEARS: Safety Eddie Jackson will miss the remainder of the season because of a foot injury, Coach Matt Eberflus said.

Eberflus said the Bears were not sure if Jackson will need surgery to repair the Lisfranc injury.

OBIT: Longtime NFL quarterback John Hadl, who starred for his hometown Kansas Jayhawks before embarking on a professional career that included six Pro Bowl appearances and an All-Pro nod, died Wednesday. He was 82.

The university, where Hadl returned after his playing days as a coach and fundraiser, announced his death in a statement, citing his family. No cause was given.

“John Hadl had a generational impact on Kansas football,” Jayhawks Athletic Director Travis Goff said. “He was a once-in-a-lifetime Jayhawk student-athlete, a coach and mentor, a prolific fundraiser who developed profound relationships with countless, and the ultimate ambassador for KU. In short, our university and athletic program has been transformed by John and his legacy will forever be cemented. Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with (wife) Diana and the Hadl family.”


Hadl was a two-sport star at Lawrence High School, a short drive from the Kansas campus, but made his name on the football field for the Jayhawks. He led the NCAA in punting as a sophomore, set a record for longest punt of 94 yards that still stands, and until 2007, held the record for longest interception return with a 98-yarder.

Hadl played both halfback and quarterback his final two seasons, helping Kansas go 14-5-2 over the span. The two-time All-American finished his career by leading the Jayhawks to their first bowl win against Rice in the 1961 Bluebonnet Bowl.

“Upon my arrival,” current Kansas coach Lance Leipold said, “I heard instantly from people across the state about John’s impact to this department, not just as a student-athlete and coach, but as someone who dedicated nearly 40 years of his life to the University of Kansas. His desire to enhance KU and make it as special as possible truly resonated with me.”

Hadl was chosen 10th overall by the Detroit Lions in 1962 in the NFL draft and 24th overall by the San Diego Chargers in the AFL draft, where he chose to pursue his career. Hadl spent 11 seasons with the Chargers, taking them to three AFL title games before the merger with the NFL, before finishing his career with the Packers, Rams and Oilers.

After retiring in 1977, Hadl returned to Kansas as an assistant, helping the Jayhawks to the 1981 Hall of Fame Bowl. He later coached for the Rams, the Broncos and the Los Angeles Express of the USFL before returning to Kansas in 1988, where he spent the next 30 years as a prolific fundraiser for the Williams Education Fund.

Hadl’s No. 21 is one of three numbers retired by Kansas along with No. 48 of Gale Sayers and No. 42 of Ray Evans. In 2020, the school celebrated his legacy by unveiling a statue of Hadl outside the Anderson Family Football Complex.


“To be the head coach of this program,” Leipold said, “and see his statue every day outside Anderson Family Football Complex is a firm reminder of the passion and love that John had for this program. Kelly and I send our condolences to the Hadl family and his loved ones.”

SEAHAWKS: The Seattle Seahawks claimed safety Johnathan Abram off waivers, adding depth to a position that’s been thinned by injuries.

Abram was a first-round selection of the Raiders in 2019 but fell out of favor with a new coaching regime in Las Vegas this season. Abram started 27 games during the 2020-21 seasons and had 116 tackles last season with the Raiders.

Abram started the first six games of this season for the Raiders, but appeared to not have a future role under new coach Josh McDaniels. His release was another step of the Raiders’ makeover of the prior regime headed by Coach Jon Gruden and GM Mike Mayock.

Abram was claimed by Green Bay three weeks ago and appeared in two games with the Packers with almost all his playing time coming on special teams.

Abram was released on Tuesday and his claim by the Seahawks is a low-risk move that could provide some depth with first-round talent to the position.

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