Rams could have to answer for league for Aaron Donald’s helmet swinging


The NFL has no jurisdiction over players who engage in misconduct at joint practices. But the league can take action against teams that fail to properly police their players in such settings.

Per a source with knowledge of the procedures, the league could impose sanctions on the Rams, if it’s determined that the Rams had any fault in the matter, such as failing to exercise proper control over their players.

The end result would suggest that the Rams indeed fail to ensure that their players didn’t engage in over-the-top actions like the ones everyone witnessed on Thursday.

Whether the league exercises its prerogative to investigate and punish the Rams remains to be seen. But in an era of increasing sensitivity to player health and safety, how could the league ignore such a spectacle? If it’s the kind of behavior that resulted in a significant suspension for Browns defensive end Myles Garrett after he whacked Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph over the head with his own helmet during a game, how can the league do nothing when Donald did the same thing?

It’s not enough to wait for such behavior to inflict a serious injury. If that kind of thing isn’t met with some sort of reaction by the league, it will keep happening until a serious injury happens. And then the league will ensure it never happens again.

Why not make sure it never happens again before it results in a serious injury?

No, inaction can’t be an option. Although the Rams will never do anything to their most important player, the league has the power to do something to ensure the Rams do a better job of controlling their players during practice — especially when they’re practicing with players from another team.

20 responses to “Rams could have to answer for league for Aaron Donald’s helmet swinging

  1. What about the justice system? That was assualt with a deadly weapon. If it happened at Target, that person would be behind bars.

  2. Fine them their next 1st round pick. Then, use the same bar that they used to suspend other players for non-prosecuted violations for assault on another human since there is video evidence of the attack.

  3. I doubt they do anything, as he is a League darling. Maybe a strongly worded letter to the Rams.

  4. It’s ludicrous to think the Rams can’t do anything because it’s Aaron Donald. If they do nothing, what a terrible example to the rest of the team. I think
    Snead and McVay earn points with the squad if they take action. It would say nobody is untouchable when you go over the line like Donald.

    The Rams can’t be over the top with their punishment. A significant fine would
    show Rams players and the league they take this matter seriously. Plus, it would prevent the NFL from getting involved and penalizing the franchise for doing nothing.

  5. This is yet another case where a player with great football skill is not held to the same standard as other players with less of it. Donald’s behavior is well over the top of just being in a scuffle, and violence outside of the whistle seems to be common with him.

  6. This will all get swept under rug due to Donald being one of the NFL’s golden boys.

  7. Should be interesting seeing how the shield love love LOVES the Rams and has a serious distaste for the Browns. I’m sure it will be a stern “please don’t let that happen again” followed by a kiss on the forehead.

  8. I still can’t past the whole the league ‘doesn’t have jurisdiction over joint practices.’
    But they do when it comes to massages and sexual assaults?
    If the league doesn’t punish Donald for his violent behaviour, it’s because they choose not to, not that they couldn’t.

  9. How is it that the NFL has no jurisdiction over players in joint practices but has jurisdiction over Deshaun Watson in what he did on his own time (disgusting as it may be)?

  10. “The NFL has no jurisdiction over players who engage in misconduct at joint practices” how is this possible, they are in uniform, at work, being paid.

    Suspend him for the year, or remove all draft picks from the RAMS for 2 years

  11. They won’t be answering to anything. Goodell cheated in the SB for Kroenke to get him back out of the red in his stadium investment in LA>

    It’s a boon for the NFL for a team win in LA. If Cincy had won, the return would have been far less for the league.


  12. Same thing happened once long ago and zero was made of it. Except the helmet thrower was invited to every sports talk show to give his side of it.

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