Public demands NFL to take further action against Aaron Donald's brawl in joint practice with Bengals
August 26, 2022
There is a possibility that the NFL won't take any further action regarding Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald after he was engaging in a brawl during a joint practice with the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday. The camera caught on Donald swinging two helmets at several Bengals.
The public immediately demanded Donald’s suspension as such action usually resulted in any form of penalty if it happened in the regular season. Judy Battista of NFL Network mentioned an incident in 2019 involving Cleveland Browns Myles Garrett. Cleveland's defensive end was suspended for six games for swinging his helmet at the opponent during a game.
However, since Donald’s incident occurred in the training camp, the decision fell upon the team’s management. Battista and other NFL media personalities explained that the league does not have authority over joint practices in the preseason.
That being said, the NFL media community believes Donald will receive an indefinite suspension, albeit to a “less severe” degree than if the incident happened during the season.
Donald is currently the starting DT on the Rams squad. The 31-year-old has recorded 441 tackles and 16 defended passes throughout his career.
The brawl on Thursday occurred between the Rams' defense and the Bengals' offense. It was reportedly started by Los Angeles’ Leonard Floyd and Cincinnati’s La’el Collins who exchanged words throughout the practice. ESPN reported that the tension immediately broke when Collins got tangled with Rams A’Shawn Robinson after concluding a play. They started to throw punches at one another.
Once the first fight subdued, Cincinnati replaced Collins with D’Ante Smith but only for a snap. On the next snap, both sides engaged in another fight that eventually ended the practice earlier. It was their second joint practice and Wednesday's practice happened without any incident.
Bengals coach Zac Taylor told reporters that they ended the practice because it became “a little scuffley”. He added, “We were in the last period. We got two really good days of work in.
“Was it worth getting the extra couple of plays? No. So we called it off. We got two good days of work in and we’ll go play on Saturday.”
Rams coach Sean McVay said they would not “make a bigger deal” out of the incident and that there would be no “pointing fingers”. He also expressed his relief that nobody involved in the brawl got hurt.
The Rams are slated to go against the Bengals for the preseason final on August 27 at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. They last met during the Superbowl in February this year, when the Rams defeated the Bengals 23-20 and brought home the champion title.
Before meeting the Bengals, the Rams were defeated by the Houston Texans 24-20 last week but won over the Los Angeles Chargers 29-22 the week before. Meanwhile, Cincinnati lost to the Arizona Cardinals 36-23 in Preseason Week 1 and the New York Giants 25-20 in Preseason Week 2.
At the start of this regular season, the Rams will be facing the Buffalo Bills on September 8. Then on September 11, it will be the Bengals’ turn to kick off the season by playing the Pittsburgh Steelers.