Rams DL Aaron Donald downplays helmet swing: 'It was just a practice. It was football.'

Los Angeles Rams superstar defensive lineman Aaron Donald de-emphasized swinging a helmet at Cincinnati Bengals players during a practice last Thursday.

"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."

Donald and the Super Bowl-champion Rams are set to open the 2022 NFL season on Thursday, Sept. 8, against the Buffalo Bills. However, in a joint practice with their Super Bowl opponents from last year, multiple skirmishes led to the Rams and Bengals coaches calling a halt to the practice. Donald was seen swinging a Bengals player's helmet at Cincinnati opponents during one of the dustups. In the AP interview, Donald was asked if he addressed the situation with Rams head coach Sean McVay and his L.A. teammates, to which Donald replied only "yes."

While Donald's helmet-swinging garnered the majority of the attention in the aftermath of the practice donnybrooks, there were reportedly multiple fights, with Bengals offensive lineman La'el Collins and Rams linebacker Leonard Floyd reported to have been in the middle of 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.

NFL clubs, not the league, are responsible for overseeing player conduct at practices. Therefore, it's unlikely the league would discipline Donald, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported last Thursday.

Los Angeles and Cincinnati played in the teams' preseason finale on Saturday without incident.

Donald, whose resume includes seven All-Pro selections and three AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year accolades, was clear Wednesday that his focus is looking ahead to Buffalo and not looking back at the incident that marred and prematurely ended the joint practices.

"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."

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