Aaron Donald downplays last week’s helmet-swinging fiasco

USA TODAY Sports

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.

49 responses to “Aaron Donald downplays last week’s helmet-swinging fiasco

  1. I am sure if the tables were turned Aaron would have just laughed it off and turned the other cheek.

  2. The NFLPA only cares about the famous players. If it had been a UDFA Bengal OL hitting Donald in the head with his own helmet they would have probably been cut, suspended, and banned from the league.

  3. Aaron Donald is a knucklehead! It is insulting that he would downplay his actions and not be contrite. His sheer arrogance should double a 6 game suspension to 12. Just because he is arguably the best player on the planet, does not mean he is above reproach.

    SUSPEND HIM NOW!!!

  4. Since no one can/will do anything about it, let’s just hope he has a crappy year, and the Rams fall from grace for not disciplining him.

  5. Had it been a Rams bottom tier player, they would have cut him that day and received praise for quick admonishment of such behavior. Since it was Donald… “what helmet?”

  6. Of course he will – he is just that low rent level of character that pads his stats in the regular season and only showed up to make 3 plays in two years of playoffs. This guy is stealing money.

  7. “It was football.”

    Ah yes, good ole pasttime of duel-wielding helmets and swinging them like crazy.

  8. If he would get charged with assault in LA, there would be no consequences anyway.

  9. Honestly, what did you expect him to say? He’s never going to admit guilt, or do anything that will come back to bite him. AS long as his team doesn’t punish him, he knows he will get away with this.

  10. I wonder how Donald would have felt if a player whacked him upside his head so nothing happens to this loser

  11. Donald sees nothing wrong in his actions. He probably sees 3-4 violent incidents like this driving to work every morning. Criminals are lauded as heroes on the Left Coast.

  12. “It was just practice.” lol

    I’ll be sure to use that one if I ever get caught up in a fight. Officer I know I just clubbed that dude but “it was just practice!”

  13. Of course he doesn’t want to talk about it. He should be out for the year. One of the dirtiest players in the league and is never disciplined for it.

  14. It’s like that guy we all work with that looses his cool all the time, then later blames other people and turns himself into the hero and gets away with it.

  15. Since Mr Donald cannot be trusted to play the game with a modern NFL helmet without using it as a weapon, he should have to play this season with an old timey leather one.

  16. Well of course he’s going to downplay it. He
    was the one swinging the helmet like an
    8 year old.

  17. The NFL is America’s #1 form of entertainment, and Aaron Donald is one of the best players to ever play the game. It’s also a very lucrative business for the people who own the league, and they’re not known for making self-defeating moves. It would be like McDonald’s punishing themselves by eliminating fries from their menu. Ain’t gonna happen.

  18. He’s pulling a real Allen Iverson on this one lol. Even if you don’t think you were wrong, as a professional athlete under a microscope, at least show some remorse. It’s really not that hard to act like an adult. Then again a lot of these players seem to have the psyche of a 17 year old.

  19. Only in the NFL you get the book thrown at you for trumped up deflated ball charges but are given a free pass for an inflated ego maniac weaponizing his helmet.

  20. What an idiot. Since it was practice, that means you could’ve killed someone less——-right? Is that the logic?

  21. So, as long as a game clock isn’t running, there’s no repercussions for using a helmet as a weapon? Pregame warmups just got a lot more interesting.

  22. There is no place for what Donald did,whether it’s practice or an actual game. He took no responsibility whatsoever for his actions. He should definitely be suspended,and he’s very lucky that he didn’t send someone to the hospital.

  23. Allen Iverson agrees that we are talking about practice, and not a game. We are talking about practice!

  24. He’s a great player. But dude, it WAS just a practice! Why are you so mad at a practice?

  25. I saw in the joint practice with the Rams the day before where in one on one drills against Alex Cappa. Donald was totally shut down and pissed about it. Cappa ate his lunch all day long. It’s all on twitter for everyone to see. AD dominated by Bengals O line that practice day before the helmet swinging roid rage set in. AD hates to get beat straight up

  26. He was just “practicing” swinging his helmet and it showed. Practice makes perfect. I’m sure when he swings it in a actual season game, he’ll do it like an All-Pro and end somebody’s career.

  27. It’s football, y’all remember football right? The sport where guys hurt each other and that’s why we watch. Football not to be confused with Ballet

  28. Gee i realy dont think he would say that if somebody did that to him right? Please Goodell do the right thing for once in your life and suspend him for the season at least.

  29. Oh please Aaron Donald won’t be suspended for one game. The NFL doesn’t punish their golden boys when they get busted doing something wrong see Peyton Manning and Ray Lewis for reference.

  30. Out of all those players involved I only saw one guy out there swinging helmets and he only stoped because of teammates… enough said.

  31. To quote the awesomeness of Allen Iverson….

    “Practice? We talking about practice? Not a game. Not the game that I go out there and die for and play every game like it’s my last. Not the game.”

    Nothing to see here, its just practice. No one ever died in practice….

    Just a little sarcasm, in case you don’t recognize it.

  32. The only thing Aaron Donald would get in trouble for is being accused of letting the air out of the footballs

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