Rams' Aaron Donald Not Interested in Optional Helmet Shield amid Pandemic

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2020

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald celebrates a sack during an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Los Angeles Rams star Aaron Donald doesn't plan on wearing a face shield on his helmet for the upcoming NFL season. 

"I probably won't even try that on," Donald told reporters Wednesday. "I need air when I'm out there running around."

Donald's comments largely echo what Houston Texans star J.J. Watt said to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio last month. Watt explained how he tried wearing a visor once during practice and quickly had it removed because his helmet felt too hot. He worried that a face shield would have the same effect.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported on July 14 the NFL was looking to make the shields mandatory but that the NFL Players Association wanted them to only be optional instead.

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

The NFL wants Oakley coronavirus face shields to be mandatory for players in 2020 -- one of many health and safety issues that remain open as talks with the union continue today. @nflnetwork https://t.co/ezvvxjpjoh

According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the league will likely recommend to players they use the face shields but won't mandate their use.

Seattle Seahawks star Russell Wilson said on Jimmy Kimmel Live last month that he wasn't a fan of the shields but had been practicing with one in case it became a required accessory.