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What did Rams’ Aaron Donald have to say about his helmet swinging brawl with the Bengals?

According to the Rams player, regardless of how his actions may have looked they weren’t so bad given that they occured in practice and not an official game.

What did Rams’ Aaron Donald have to say about his helmet swinging brawl with the Bengals?
Kevin C. CoxAFP

It’s been about a week since the Rams’ Aaron Donald was photgraphed and recorded while swinging helmets in a fight that occured during a joint practice session with the Cincinnati Bengals. With that, the big man finally gave his side of what occured that day.

Aaron Donald doesn’t think helmet swinging fight was a big deal

Though it appeared to be a scene you’d expect to see in the famous football film “The Longest Yard,” Rams’ Aaron Donald doesn’t think his helmet swinging contribution to a brawl, between his team and the Bengals last week was a major issue. Indeed, during a recent interview, Donald alluded to the idea that it wasn’t as serious as people may have believed because it didn’t occur during an official game. “It was just a practice,” Donald said. “Obviously, people got phones out and things like that, but I’m not going to sit and talk about negative stuff that happened at a practice. My main focus is Buffalo.”

The interesting thing here, is that quite literally Donald has a point in terms of where any potential punishment is concerned. As football fans will know, a player can most definitely be sanctioned for swinging a helmet at someone during a game, as was the case with Myles Garrett who go suspended for six games after doing just that. On the other hand, the NFL has always defered to teams when it comes to any infractions that occur during practice sessions. That’s to say that if Donald is punished, it will most likely be because the Rams choose to do so and not the league.

What do the Rams have to say about Aaron Donald’s actions?

If one thing is clear about where the Rams stand on Donald’s recent actions, it’s that nothing is clear. When asked last Saturday if there would be any forthcoming punishment for Donald, Rams coach Sean McVay was less than direct in his answer. “We’ve handled it internally and we’ll keep that in house,” McVay said during the Rams’ 16-7 loss to the said same Bengals. Incidentally, Donald himself was asked during the aforementioned interview if he was going to receive any internal punishment from the franchise, to which he responded by saying, “We talked. We talked.”

What exactly did Aaron Donald do?

Regarding how it all kicked off, it should be said that Donald’s helmet swing was not the cause of the fight, but rather a symptom of it. During a Rams-Bengals joint practice last week, it was actually a Rams defender who got things kicked off when he grabbed Bengals offensive lineman La’el Collins from behind. At that point Collins somehow managed to grab Leonard Floyd’s helmet and throw it at him, which in turn led to the fight starting. Donald would then take things to the next level a short time later.

While it’s obviously clear that Aaron Donald took swings at Bengals players with two of their own helmets, perhaps it’s not exactly clear how close the whole affair was to being much more serious. If you take a look above, you will clearly see that Donald delivers a full blow to one of his opponents and truth be told, were it not for the fact that the player in question was wearing a helmet himself, there would likely have been serious injury. Regardless, having seemingly escaped any form of punishment, Donald will be on the field for the Rams season opener against the Buffalo Bills on Thursday.