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#pounditSunday, November 27, 2022

NFL unlikely to discipline Aaron Donald for practice fight?

Aaron Donald during a game

Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald (99) before Super Bowl LVI against the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Things got out of control during Thursday’s joint practice between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams, with Aaron Donald at the center of it. Though Donald did things that would certainly get him suspended if they took place in a game, the NFL is unlikely to act based on what he did on the practice field.

Video showed Donald swinging two Bengals helmets at Cincinnati players during a heated practice fight Thursday. However, oversight of player behavior during practices is delegated to clubs, not the league. As Tom Pelissero of NFL Network notes, Donald is unlikely to face league discipline for that reason.

This will not sit well with many. After all, Cleveland’s Myles Garrett did something similar during a 2019 game and wound up serving a six-game suspension for it. Donald’s actions aren’t any less dangerous, but the consequences may well be less significant simply because of the setting this happened in.

Donald flirted with retirement following the 2021 season, but ultimately returned to the Rams on a monster new contract.


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