Six days ago, Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald blew a gasket during a joint practice with the Bengals. Donald ended up with an orange helmet in each hand, and he was angrily swinging them at Cincinnati players.
Donald now downplays the incident.
“It was just a practice,” Donald told Rob Maaddi of the Associated Press. “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.”
His main focus is Buffalo because the league couldn’t suspend him for the Week One contest, and the team wouldn’t. It should have happened.
And it’s not “practice” or “football.” It goes beyond anything anyone signs up for. Although Schefty still gets clowned for calling Myles Garrett hitting Mason Rudolph in the head with his own helmet “assault,” IT WAS. It’s not part of football. It’s beyond anything remotely acceptable in a football game.
It’s conduct for which someone would have been arrested and charged, if it had happened on the street. It’s something for which Donald definitely would have been suspended by the league, if it had happened in a game.
Hopefully, the league and the NFL Players Association will agree that there should be real punishment for such incidents. After all, whenever one member of the union assaults a player with a helmet, the victim is also a member of the union. The NFLPA should want real punishment to be available when such conduct occurs.
Aaron Donald downplays last week’s helmet-swinging fiasco originally appeared on Pro Football Talk