However, on Friday, the Rams defender left no doubt about his fitness.
Donald, never shy about showing off his chiseled physique, stepped out of the UC Irvine gym and addressed reporters and cameramen without a shirt.
Is it harder to get in shape at 31 than at 23?
“I think it’s a little easier now,” he said, “because I’ve sort of grown into my body, understood my body and understood what I can do and what I can’t.”
Donald hinted that he might retire, and Sheep responded by rewarding him contract extension this includes $65 million in guarantees for the next two seasons and $95 million through 2024. He is the highest paid defenseman in league history.
Second Year Defense Coordinator Raheem Morris learned how to work with Donald ahead of the 2021 season.
“He’s always busy until he decides to take a little break,” Morris said. “And when he lets it go, that’s when you know you’ve got him, and that’s when you know he’s in his best place that he could be.”
Donald hit 98 sacks in regular season games, six in the playoffs.
On Friday, he said he was fit, strong and “hit a groove” with the Rams looking at their team. September 8 newbie against the Buffalo bills.
The Rams will spend four more practices at UC Irvine before returning to their Thousand Oaks club late next week. Donald will continue to work on his movements, technique and stay healthy and strong.
“Learning, studying myself and just trying to find ways to be the best I can be,” he said.