Rams' Aaron Donald Swings Helmet in Video of Fight With Bengals During Joint Practice

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVAugust 25, 2022

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Aaron Donald is accustomed to going after the quarterback as a pass-rusher during games, but the Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman went after members of the Cincinnati Bengals a different way during Thursday's joint practice.

Donald was seen swinging a Bengals helmet at players during a brawl that broke out at the practice.

Football insider Warren Sharp shared video of the scene:

Warren Sharp @SharpFootball

keep ya head on a swivel 👀 <a href="https://t.co/Oywc3Dt52k">pic.twitter.com/Oywc3Dt52k</a>

Cincinnati and Los Angeles faced each other in the Super Bowl, and it was Donald's pressure on Joe Burrow on a fourth down late in the game that all but clinched the championship for the Rams.

They also play each other in Saturday's preseason contest, and Thursday's brawl could lend some additional energy to a game that otherwise may have been rather lethargic with the teams looking ahead to the regular season.

According to USA Today, the brawl was the practice's third bust-up and they all involved Rams defenders and Bengals offensive tackle La'el Collins.

Images of Donald swinging a helmet immediately brought to mind Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett doing something similar to Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph during the 2019 season:

Jeff Darlington @JeffDarlington

A reminder: Myles Garrett was indefinitely suspended by the NFL following his helmet-swinging incident. Garrett missed the final six games of the 2019 season before the NFL reinstated him in February 2020.

Kimberley A. Martin @ByKimberleyA

Can’t wait to see how the league handles this Aaron Donald situation. The Myles Garrett situation was similar, just didn’t happen in a preseason practice. Egregious on both counts. <a href="https://t.co/ZhGSfRthLA">https://t.co/ZhGSfRthLA</a>

Judy Battista @judybattista

Myles Garrett missed the final 6 games of the 2019 season as part of an indefinite suspension for swinging a helmet during a game. The NFL has not been in the business of policing joint practices the way they do games, but that's the only difference from Aaron Donald today.

While Garrett was suspended, Donald may avoid such a punishment. After all, Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk noted the NFL usually allows teams to enforce discipline if an incident occurs during practice.

"I don't know exactly what instigated it," Rams head coach Sean McVay told reporters. "I think in some instances teams defending each other. 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."

Any type of suspension for Donald would be a difficult blow for the Rams considering he is arguably the best player in the NFL.

They also start their regular season in a potential Super Bowl preview matchup with the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 8.


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