Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald has attempted to play down an altercation that led to him swinging a helmet at Cincinnati Bengals players during a practice match last week.
The three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year was thrown to the ground after swinging a helmet while players threw fists in a nasty clash that ended the session early.
“It was just a practice. It was football,” Donald said in a Wednesday interview with the AP Pro Football Podcast, via the Associated Press. “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.”
Still, apparently this was not the only incident that took place between these two sets of players.
Donald’s helmet-swinging may have grabbed most of the headlines in the aftermath of the practice donnybrooks, but there were also reportedly multiple fights, with Bengals offensive lineman La’el Collins and Rams linebacker Leonard Floyd reported to have been heavily involved in at least two of them.
According to reports, Collins threw Floyd’s helmet at Floyd, which led to players from both teams scuffling, and the two later were involved in another fight.
It remains to be seen what will happen in terms of punishments for the players, but this certainly seems like the kind of incident that fans of both teams won’t want to be seeing right now.
Los Angeles and Cincinnati played in the teams’ preseason finale on Saturday without incident.
The defending Super Bowl champions begin the season next Thursday night at home against the Buffalo Bills.
Donald insists he will now be focusing on the season ahead, playing down the other headlines in order to reassert his desire to enjoy further success.
When asked about his motivations ahead of the new season, Donald made himself perfectly clear:
“Just trying to relive all that over again, trying to accomplish that, being a world champion all over again,” Donald said. “That’s the biggest motivation. I was motivated to get there, but once you accomplish that and you get to see what that feels like, it makes you want it that much more. So that’s just the motivation, just to relive that all over again.”