NFL training camp 2022: Rams to handle discipline for Aaron Donald helmet incident in-house

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The Los Angeles Rams will be handling on their own any discipline after the helmet-swinging brawl that canceled their practice with the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday.

A Rams spokesperson declined to specify if star defensive end Aaron Donald or anyone else would face discipline after Thursday’s wild fight in Ohio, and only said that it will “remain in-house.”

The Rams and Bengals held a joint practice Thursday in Ohio ahead of Saturday’s preseason matchup between last year’s Super Bowl teams. After a few minor incidents, a massive brawl broke out between the teams.

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Footage of the fight showed one player swinging a helmet at the other team, and Donald was shoved to the ground while holding a Bengals helmet in his right hand. Donald was later seen with two Bengals helmets in his hands.

It’s unclear what sparked the brawl initially. Practice was quickly called off after things settled down.

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald
Aaron Donald was involved in a wild helmet-swinging brawl at the Rams' joint practice with the Bengals on Thursday. (AP/Jae C. Hong)

Had the incident occurred during a game, the league certainly would have handled punishment itself. Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett was suspended for six games in 2019 after he ripped off the helmet of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and swung it at him during a game.

The NFL has traditionally let teams handle discipline after incidents in joint practices. While the league could certainly hand down a punishment of its own, the Rams' internal punishment — whatever that may be — will likely be the end of the story.

Saturday's preseason game between the two teams, however, may be a bit more contentious than usual.