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What Aaron Donald’s injury means for the Divisional Round of the 2021 NFL Playoffs

Aaron Donald was left off of the Rams final injury report for the Divisional round of the 2021 NFL Playoffs, though he was forced early from the Wild Card game. We break down what it means for fantasy football roster decisions.

Aaron Donald #99 of the Los Angeles Rams heads to the locker room after being injured in the third quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Lumen Field on January 09, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Game status: Donald is active and playing in Saturday’s game, but he appears to be on some kind of pitch count. He appeared in 5 of the 11 defensive snaps on the Packers first offensive drive. He was not in on third and goal, all of which suggests he is limited in this game.

Game day update: Donald will play through a torn rib cartilage, per Ian Rapoport.

The Los Angeles Rams had a frightening moment in last week’s Wild Card game against the Seahawks when all-universe defensive lineman Aaron Donald was forced out with rib injury. There were some questions about his status earlier in the week after he missed practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. However, he didn’t even make an appearance on the official injury report this week, and the Rams will have the two-time Defensive Player of the Year in action this week against the Packers.

Fantasy impact: Aaron Donald (rib injury)

With a shaky quarterback situation and a challenging weather situation, the Rams’ playoff hopes are tightly pinned to their defense, and Donald in particular. All eyes are firmly fixed on the matchup between Donald and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in this one. (No, we didn’t forget Jalen Ramsey matched up against Davante Adams either; that one’s important too.)

The fact that Donald is healthy could make it difficult for the Packers to throw the ball with much success, something you’ll want to weigh before making your final lineup decisions in fantasy this week. If the Rams can control Green Bay’s offense, that would free up the Rams to run the ball more, giving Cam Akers fantasy’ value a boost this week.