Thousand Oaks, Calif. – Aaron Donald was not hurt when he spoke to the media for the first time about his role in the fight between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals after the second day of practice. But that he wants to focus on Week 1.
“My main focus right now is Buffalo,” Donald said. “I’m glad nobody got hurt in the action or anything, but my main focus is on Thursday night at Buffalo.”
In the year Practice ended early on Aug. 25 after an on-field fight broke out during practice between the Bengals’ first-team offense and the Rams’ first-team defense. Several helmets were removed during the fight, and video taken during the scuffle shows Donald’s helmet swinging several times.
Although Donald did not hold a news conference after the incident, he spoke on the “AP Pro Football Podcast” last week, reiterating, “It was just practice. It was football. I don’t want to go back.” Nothing negative happened and talk about what actually happened.
After the incident, Rams coach Sean McVay said they didn’t want to make a big deal out of the fight, saying that in some cases it’s just two teams defending each other.
On Monday, Donald acknowledged that this was a dangerous situation.
“Everyone was protecting each other, everyone was innocent of the situation [and] “So that’s the point,” said Donald, sober. Ready for week 1.
Last week, McVeigh said the team had taken any form of discipline regarding the infighting. Defensive coordinator Raheem Morris said Monday that the team takes the incident “very seriously” and supports the way McVay handled it.
“You don’t want to just swing a helmet at anybody, but sometimes there were helmets that were ripped. You never want to do those things,” Morris said. You don’t want to have it on your research record. … But at the same time, these things happen in practice. They are mistakes. They are mistakes and they are. These moments can be fixed when they happen.”
During a 2019 regular season game, Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett was suspended six games for hitting Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph with the helmet. Because the incident with Donald occurred during practice and not a game, Donald was not disciplined by the league.