While the joint practices and preseason schedules are made up far in advance, whoever thought it was a good idea to keep the two teams that met in the Super Bowl against each other just seven months after they met on the pinnacle of football needs to rethink how these work.
Of course, tensions were going to be high, but Aaron Donald let his boil over. During a practice, Donald was seen swinging two helmets at Cincinnati Bengals players as the two sides ended up in a nationally talked-about brawl.
Donald was at the forefront of the controversy with many calling for his suspension. However, now known by many, the league is not in charge of handing out suspensions during practices, even those joint practices orchestrated by the league.
Donald’s actions will not have any side effects, and he clearly agrees with that as he recently downplayed his involvement. This is a disappointing realization from one of the biggest stars in football.
“It was just a practice. It was football. I don’t really wanna go back to nothing negative that happened and talk about something that happened in a practice. My main focus is Buffalo,” Donald said via the AP Pro Football podcast.
Donald did note that he had talked it over with the coaches, and considering his stature with the franchise, there really wasn’t ever much that was going to be done. Donald has been an All-Pro defensive tackle for seven straight seasons and has been named to the Pro Bowl in each of his eight years in the league.
A practice that didn’t quite go as planned isn’t going to sit him out of the Los Angeles Rams’ season opener against the AFC favorite Buffalo Bills. Maybe this will serve as a lesson to the NFL and how they can better schedule/change these join practices.