Report: NFL will “absolutely” consider taking over discipline for misconduct in joint practices

USA TODAY Sports

In two days, Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald will play in a regular-season game two weeks after swinging helmets in a joint practice because, under current rules, the NFL can’t do anything about it.

That could change.

Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports that the league office will “absolutely” consider taking jurisdiction over discipline of players who engage in misconduct during joint practices. The league would implement the same system currently used for on-field discipline during games.

An unnamed source tells Maske that the issue is “already on the winter agenda,” a reference to the annual wave of offseason rule changes.

The potential change is indeed sparked by Donald’s behavior. The Rams handled the matter internally, and they’ve refused to disclose the punishment. (A moderately stern talking-to is a safe bet, possibly with the partial wag of a finger.)

It’s the right move, but it won’t be easy. The NFL Players Association undoubtedly will regard any such change as a mandatory subject of collective bargaining. While the NFLPA should want to ensure that its members are properly protected against misdeeds that go unpunished (and thus undeterred), the union can do exactly what the league would do in a situation like this — fold their arms and say, “What’s in it for us?”

Hopefully, that won’t happen in this case. Or maybe the league can find some other win-win that can be dangled as the quid pro quo for giving the league the ability to do what should have been done after Donald swung helmets on August 25.

Then again, if Donald knew he would potentially be suspended for doing it, maybe he wouldn’t have done it. That makes it all the more critical for the NFL and NFLPA to agree to this much-needed change.

32 responses to “Report: NFL will “absolutely” consider taking over discipline for misconduct in joint practices

  1. Or maybe not have the two Super Bowl teams agree to practice against each other merely months after the Super Bowl? Just a thought.

  2. it is absolute nonsense to claim they have no jurisdiction

    The players must abide by a general code of conduct policy – which is how players are suspended even when no criminal charges were ever filed

  3. I mean if they wanted to, the league COULD punish the Rams organization for this incident – especially when considering the fact that they didn’t discipline Donald – but Goodell is way too much of a pushover to do that.

  4. The league claims jurisdiction over the lives of players when they are away from the field and during the off-season when they aren’t even collecting paychecks.
    It’s plainly absurd that they don’t have any say on what happens during a team practice.

  5. You can discipline players during training camp and they can appeal their discipline throughout the year to us instead of the commissioner. Quid pro quo.

    The NFLPA

  6. Yep that is proper way to make a rule change – put it on the Winter Meetings agenda.
    Don’t try to make changes until it goes through the proper channels.

    Its not fair to all the parties concerned.

  7. cnc33 says:
    September 6, 2022 at 7:23 pm
    Or maybe not have the two Super Bowl teams agree to practice against each other merely months after the Super Bowl? Just a thought.
    ———————-
    What? So with that thinking… the Patriots shouldn’t play the Bills this year after getting embarrassed in the playoffs. The Chargers shouldn’t play the Raiders this year, because the Raiders eliminated them from the playoff contention in the last game of the season. And so on and so on…Helmets could fly between those teams. Right?

  8. It didn’t matter to him if he murdered another player…I don’t think a suspension would have thwarted his efforts to mame and or kill.

  9. So the league can discipline players for their behaviors on the free time but not for their behaviors in a football scrimmage? Utter BS. They just don’t want to discipline Aaron Donald.

  10. Aaron Donald is human trash. He plays for a garbage organization. The only two reasons Goodell isn’t going after Roidasaurus and the Rams is because…
    1) Aaron Donald is one of the NFL’S golden boys…despite choking two players last year and swinging helmets this year.
    2) Goodell is afraid the Rams would squeal about the NFL and the refs serving the Super Bowl to the Rams on a silver platter. Don’t worry Roger…we all already know.
    Here’s to hoping Aaron Donald’s knee takes a direct shot soon.

  11. Christopher Allan says:
    September 6, 2022 at 7:51 pm
    cnc33 says:
    September 6, 2022 at 7:23 pm
    Or maybe not have the two Super Bowl teams agree to practice against each other merely months after the Super Bowl? Just a thought.
    ———————-
    What? So with that thinking… the Patriots shouldn’t play the Bills this year after getting embarrassed in the playoffs. The Chargers shouldn’t play the Raiders this year, because the Raiders eliminated them from the playoff contention in the last game of the season. And so on and so on…Helmets could fly between those teams. Right?

    52Rate This

    —————–

    And the Bills shouldn’t be playing the CHiefs are being embarrassed by the 13 seconds of time.

    bawahah

  12. And the Bills shouldn’t be playing the CHiefs are being embarrassed by the 13 seconds of time.

    bawahah

    No one has been embarrassed like New England Cheaters. Still haven’t punted .

    Bwahahaha!!!

  13. *just not this player, this time. NFL learning how to handle things a day late and a dollar short…like clockwork.

  14. Haven’t been a fan of many of your takes lately, Florio………. But the moderately stern talking too and possible “partial” finger wag was gold.

  15. catquick says:
    September 6, 2022 at 8:28 pm
    And the Bills shouldn’t be playing the CHiefs are being embarrassed by the 13 seconds of time.

    bawahah

    No one has been embarrassed like New England Cheaters. Still haven’t punted .

    Bwahahaha!!!

    419Rate This

    ——————-

    Your team didn’t force a punt in 1994 vs SF. SF went on to win the SB. That was after Buff’s 4 straight sb losses with the worst sb ratings ever in 3/4 games in the easier pre cap era.

    I know it’s tough to take and mortifying but the less you own it, the more it haunts your soul.

    lol

  16. Let me fix the headline.

    “Report: NFL will ‘absolutely’ consider taking over discipline for misconduct in joint practices……..depending on who the player and team is and depending on which market it impacts”.

  17. Ok, suppose he had injured another player, perhaps seriously? Are you telling me they STILL couldn’t discipline him? Believe me, they’d find a way.

  18. It’s absolute ludicrous that Goodell has no jurisdiction to punish a player because its an inter team scrimmage. Looks like a cop out to me. And speaking of cop outs, how about the Rams unwillingness to disclose what undoubtedly is a joke of “internal punishment”. My bet would be there “punishment” involved no more then moving Donald’s parking space two spots further from the front door

  19. I admit I never watched the video. If this had been a lesser player they would’ve been suspended immediately. It’s funny how the league can discipline a guy for something he does in the off-season unrelated to football but can’t discipline a guy for felony assault during practice. Odd

  20. This is such BS. The league has every power to punish either Donald, the team or both. They just don’t want to and are hiding behind the skirt of NFLPA.

    Let’s be clear, the league wouldn’t have done anything to Watson if not for the public outcry.

  21. Still don’t get it, the code of conduct where the league can penalize the players for the off the field actions include a provision for ‘workplace violence’. Shouldn’t the practice field be considered their workplace????

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