LOS ANGELES--As the Los Angeles Rams prepare for the start of the second half of the season, one player is feeling particularly fit.
"I feel good," star defensive lineman Aaron Donald said Friday. "Healthy, fresh."
Donald sat out offseason workouts and training camp because of a still-unresolved contract dispute. He did not play in the first game, but he's back to his usual offense-wrecking self.
The three-time Pro Bowl selection is tied for the team lead with four sacks and has disrupted opponents throughout a three-game winning streak that pushed the Rams to the top of the NFC West.
Last week against the New York Giants, Donald sacked Eli Manning and stripped the ball for a fumble that led to a touchdown in a 51-17 victory.
Donald said that not participating in training camp enabled him to feel "fresher" at this point in the season than in any of his previous three.
"I ain't got the same aches and bruises anybody else has got," he said.
So absence from training camp worked to his advantage?
"Not taking the pounding on my body," he said. "I guess it was like a gift and curse, not coming."
Donald said he and the defense still have much to improve as the Rams make a push for their first playoff appearance since 2004. They play the Houston Texans on Sunday at the Coliseum.