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Report: NFL 'Absolutely' Will Consider Discipline for Future Joint Practice Incidents

Erin WalshSeptember 6, 2022

AP Photo/Jeff Dean

The NFL will "absolutely" consider disciplining players for incidents during joint practices in the future under the same system it uses to sanction players for their on-field actions during games, according to Mark Maske of the Washington Post.

The idea is "already on the winter agenda," Maske added.

Los Angeles Rams star Aaron Donald was at the center of a fight during a joint practice with the Cincinnati Bengals on Aug. 25.

In video of the incident, a player in the scrum can be seen swinging a helmet. Donald was also seen holding two Bengals helmets as he was shoved to the ground amid the fracas.

Charles Robinson @CharlesRobinson

For what it’s worth, the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFL</a> historically has yielded to teams when it comes to punishment for fights that occur in joint practices. Although, this is pretty far beyond the usual stuff. This is wild. <a href="https://t.co/4Dwi6PgEmK">pic.twitter.com/4Dwi6PgEmK</a>

Sam Greene @SGdoesit

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rams?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Rams</a> Aaron Donald swinging two <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bengals?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bengals</a> helmets in the mix. <a href="https://t.co/y92A0gNskd">pic.twitter.com/y92A0gNskd</a>

The Rams and Bengals ended the practice early.

L.A. then announced that it was going to handle discipline internally. It's unclear what type of punishment, if any, players received.

On Monday, Donald was asked about the fight, but he told reporters he didn't want to talk about it and has moved on.

"My main focus is Buffalo right now," Donald said. "I'm happy nobody got hurt in the practice and whatever, but my main focus is Thursday night against Buffalo."

Joint practices between the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers this summer also included a number of fights, and players were ejected.

The Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets were also involved in multiple scuffles last month.

With seemingly more fighting and less football being played during joint practices, it's not surprising the NFL is considering handling discipline for involved players.

Since the preseason is over, any change likely won't take effect until 2023.

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