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Los Angeles Rams superstar defensive lineman Aaron Donald de-emphasized swinging a helmet at Cincinnati Bengals players during a practice last Thursday.
“It was just a practice. It was football,” Donald said in a Wednesday interview with the AP Pro Football Podcast, via the Associated Press. “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 and the Super Bowl-champion Rams are set to open the 2022 NFL season on Thursday, Sept. 8, against the Buffalo Bills. However, in a joint practice with their Super Bowl opponents from last year, multiple skirmishes led to the Rams and Bengals coaches calling a halt to the practice. Donald was seen swinging a Bengals player’s helmet at Cincinnati opponents during one of the dustups. In the AP interview, Donald was asked if he addressed the situation with Rams head coach Sean McVay and his L.A. teammates, to which Donald replied only “yes.”
While Donald’s helmet-swinging garnered the majority of the attention in the aftermath of the practice donnybrooks, there were reportedly multiple fights, with Bengals offensive lineman La’el Collins and Rams linebacker Leonard Floyd reported to have been in the middle of at least two of them. According to reports, Collins threw Floyd’s helmet at Floyd, which led to players from both teams scuffling, and the two later were involved in another fight.
NFL clubs, not the league, are responsible for overseeing player conduct at practices. Therefore, it’s unlikely the league would discipline Donald, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported last Thursday.
Los Angeles and Cincinnati played in the teams’ preseason finale on Saturday without incident.
Donald, whose resume includes seven All-Pro selections and three AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year accolades, was clear Wednesday that his focus is looking ahead to Buffalo and not looking back at the incident that marred and prematurely ended the joint practices.
“Just trying to relive all that over again, trying to accomplish that, being a world champion all over again,” Donald said. “That’s the biggest motivation. I was motivated to get there, but once you accomplish that and you get to see what that feels like, it makes you want it that much more. So that’s just the motivation, just to relive that all over again.”
The Buffalo Bills are signing former Denver Broncos punter Sam Martin to a one-year deal, NFL Network’s Peter Schrager and NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported Wednesday.
Offensive tackle Jason Peters is headed to Dallas to meet with the Cowboys, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
Baltimore signed RB Kenyan Drake, his agents said Wednesday, bolstering a position that has been banged up two years in a row prior to the start of the season.
The player formerly known as Darius is trending toward a positive start to the 2022 season. Shaquille Leonard is participating in the Colts’ Wednesday practice.
The Philadelphia Eagles are trading former first-round receiver Jalen Reagor to the Minnesota Vikings for a 2023 seventh-round pick and a 2024 conditional fourth-round selection.
Sony Michel is headed back to Los Angeles. The veteran running back is signing with the Chargers, NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported on Wednesday.
Alex Leatherwood will attempt to revitalize his NFL career in the Windy City. The Chicago Bears claimed Leatherwood off waivers on Wednesday.
NFL.com is keeping an eye on the players signed to every team’s practice squad ahead of the 2022 regular season.
The Cowboys are poised to swap Smiths at left tackle to open the season. With Tyron Smith set to miss a big chunk of the season after undergoing surgery, Dallas’ top option is rookie Tyler Smith on Dak Prescott’s blind side.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday morning that Howard is visiting the Bengals today. An opportunity in Cincinnati might have to wait, however.
The Detroit Lions are waiving quarterback David Blough, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported Wednesday. In order to fill his spot, Detroit is expected to sign Nate Sudfeld, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
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Rams DL Aaron Donald downplays helmet swing: 'It was just a practice. It was football.' – NFL.com
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