Eight years into his career, Aaron Donald is already one of the best defensive players of all time.
He’s won three AP defensive player of the year awards. He’s been a Pro Bowler every year of his career. He’s been voted a first-team AP All-Pro in all but his rookie season.
Though he rushes from the interior, he’s recorded a 20.5-sack season and hasn’t been under 12.5 sacks since 2018.
But one thing Donald doesn’t have on his résumé is a Super Bowl victory.
Given Donald’s importance to Los Angeles’ defense and the team as a whole, defensive coordinator Raheem Morris said on Thursday that part of the Rams’ motivation is cementing Donald as one of the greatest to ever play.
“This building wants to win for Aaron Donald to create more mystique to his legacy and what he’s done,” Morris said, via Greg Beacham of the Associated Press. “We want to win for Aaron Donald.”
Donald was terrific against the Buccaneers in the divisional round, recording a sack, two tackles for loss, three quarterback hits, and a pass breakup. The Rams will need another big performance out of him and the rest of the defense to defeat the 49ers for the first time since 2018 to advance to Super Bowl LVI.