In a scuffle between the two teams Thursday, Los Angeles Rams star Aaron Donald repeatedly swung a helmet at Cincinnati Bengals players, putting an early end to their joint practice session. Does this mean a suspension is in the cards for Donald for his awful actions during the altercation?
Thursday was the second day of joint workouts between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals. They recently played in Super Bowl LVI. It resulted in a chaotic confrontation, with Aaron Donald clutching a pair of Bengals helmets and swinging a helmet at one point.
This was the last of a series of clashes between the two teams on the day. It all began with Bengals offensive tackle La’el Collins . He ripped off one of the Rams’ helmets and tossed it after another scuffle earlier in the session.
Aaron Donald out here ripping a Bengals player’s helmet off and playing Whac-A-Mole with it 😟 pic.twitter.com/Yiu53YpbZq
— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) August 25, 2022
Collins later began throwing punches after a Rams player restrained him from behind on a run play.
This resulted in a scrum in which Aaron Donald pulled off a helmet and began swinging it before being tossed to the ground.
“Things got a little scuffley and so we just called it,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “We were in the last period and we got two really good days of work in. So, was it worth getting the extra couple of plays in? No. So, we called it.”
Recall that the NFL penalized Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett indefinitely in 2019. This was for swinging a helmet at the head of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph. It happened in the final seconds of a Thursday Night Football game. Garrett eventually sat out the remaining six regular-season games. The NFL reinstated him in February 2020.
Is that a clear precedent for this particular situation? That remains unclear, but Donald’s actions should certainly not go by without consequence. Nobody knows for sure whether that consequence comes down from the league or from his own team.
Keep in mind that the NFL normally defers disciplinary action for transgressions on the practice field to each individual team involved. Whether that applies in this specific situation is still up in the air. This is especially true after a helmet was used as a weapon during the melee.
Remember also that back in 2016, Aaron Donald was dismissed in the fourth quarter of a game against the San Francisco 49ers . That’s after he made contact with a ref. Prior to that, he had already received a personal foul penalty after grabbing 49ers wideout Quinton Patton’s neck. He also ripped off his helmet.
Rams football fans, of course, hope that this won’t cause Donald to miss any games in the future, especially not in the regular season.
Angelo Guinhawa ·
As for Rams coach Sean McVay, he claimed he didn’t know what caused the numerous scuffles.
“I think in some instances teams defending each other,” McVay said after the game. “Fortunately, my understanding is nobody got hurt, and we’ll move on from it. Not going to make a bigger deal than what it is. Not going to look at pointing fingers.”
The Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams will play their final preseason game before Week 1 on Saturday night. This development during the two teams’ joint practice at Paycor Stadium will surely add even more spice than there already is.
Until then, the jury is out on Aaron Donald, but objectively speaking, any player who uses a helmet to hit other players should face a stiff consequence. In this case, either the NFL or the Rams should suspend him.