Rams could have to answer for league for Aaron Donald’s helmet swinging
The NFL has no jurisdiction over players who engage in misconduct at joint practices. But the league can take action against teams that fail to properly police their players in such settings.
Per a source with knowledge of the procedures, the league could impose sanctions on the Rams, if it’s determined that the Rams had any fault in the matter, such as failing to exercise proper control over their players.
The end result would suggest that the Rams indeed fail to ensure that their players didn’t engage in over-the-top actions like the ones everyone witnessed on Thursday.
Whether the league exercises its prerogative to investigate and punish the Rams remains to be seen. But in an era of increasing sensitivity to player health and safety, how could the league ignore such a spectacle? If it’s the kind of behavior that resulted in a significant suspension for Browns defensive end Myles Garrett after he whacked Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph over the head with his own helmet during a game, how can the league do nothing when Donald did the same thing?
It’s not enough to wait for such behavior to inflict a serious injury. If that kind of thing isn’t met with some sort of reaction by the league, it will keep happening until a serious injury happens. And then the league will ensure it never happens again.
Why not make sure it never happens again before it results in a serious injury?
No, inaction can’t be an option. Although the Rams will never do anything to their most important player, the league has the power to do something to ensure the Rams do a better job of controlling their players during practice -- especially when they’re practicing with players from another team.