Aaron Donald was the talk of NFL Twitter on Thursday after the Los Angeles Rams star began swinging helmets at members of the Cincinnati Bengals during a joint practice brawl.
Immediately when the video went viral, reporters and fans began calling for Donald to be suspended — many referencing Myles Garrett’s indefinite suspension for hitting Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph with his helmet.
Deleted video of Aaron Donald swinging a helmet at bengals players. pic.twitter.com/dHCAGN8Bby
— Not Jake 🥷🏻 (@CincyHub) August 25, 2022
But, for those calling for a suspension, there is one major problem: the NFL does not have jurisdiction over team practices.
Teams are responsible for their own players, meaning the league cannot suspend or punish Donald. Any punishment would be up to the Rams to hand out, and who is going to suspend a player of Donald’s caliber for an incident in practice? Exactly.
Clubs — not the NFL — are responsible for overseeing conduct of players at practice, including joint practices. So fair to say league discipline for Aaron Donald (or anyone else) in today's brouhaha is unlikely. https://t.co/VfmDycxBKh
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 25, 2022
So, unless there is an immediate rule change that the league can use retroactively, Donald should be on the field for the Rams’ season-opener against the Buffalo Bills on Thursday, September 8.