Wednesday was an ideal day. The Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals got quality reps against each other, as the Super Bowl 56 representatives squared off in the first day of joint practices. Unfortunately, Thursday’s practice ended abruptly, with numerous fights leading to one big melee.
La’el Collins just threw his helmet at #Rams Leonard Floyd. Two little scrums so far. Tension is heating up.— Kelsey Conway (@KelseyLConway) August 25, 2022
Deleted video of Aaron Donald swinging a helmet at bengals players. pic.twitter.com/dHCAGN8Bby— Not Jake (@CincyHub) August 25, 2022
In fairness to all involved, it should have been expected that the two teams would mix it up after battling for the Lombardi trophy less than seven months ago.
Do you think fights will break out?— Mike (MOB-SQUAD-MIKE) Vela (@Mic_wrecka11) August 23, 2022
Joint practices are a great way to foster competition in a controlled environment, especially for teams that prioritize resting their starters in the preseason. These are valued opportunities in which new players like Allen Robinson and Bobby Wagner can get live reps against different teams and schemes, building chemistry with their respective units. But considering recent events, LA’s decision makers may want to consider taking a brief hiatus from these types of sessions.
It’s not because THIS practice ended in a brawl. It’s because the last four joint practices the Rams have taken part in have had viral brawls going back to 2019 against the then Oakland Raiders and 2021 (oh, and 2015) against the Dallas Cowboys.
Head coach Sean McVay highlighted the fact that both teams did get quality work in the abbreviated session and was thankful that no one was injured in the skirmish.
“The thing I’m glad about, I don’t know exactly what instigated it, I think in some instances teams defending each other,” said McVay. “Fortunately, my understanding is nobody got hurt and well move on from it. Not going to make a bigger deal than what it is.”
I don’t want to see any player (especially on the Rams) get seriously hurt in a pointless fight. One accurate swing from a helmet connecting with a head or a twisted knee for a player simply trying to avoid a fight and we’re all having a different conversation.
We've seen this look before... pic.twitter.com/UDtbmIUFxu— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) August 24, 2022
There was some concern amongst fans about a potential suspension for the three-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald. According to Josina Anderson of CBS Sports, that matter can be put to rest; individual teams are responsible for doling out punishment for practice related instances.
Maybe McVay will suspend AD for the final preseason game…
I don’t believe Donald is a dirty player, regardless of the fact that I am looking at this situation through blue and sol tented glasses. I do think its clear he had no intentions of truly hurting anyone on the Bengals. Had that been the case, he would have just hit them with this.
The LA Rams have unveiled their Super Bowl rings— Front Office Sports (@FOS) July 22, 2022
➖ Removable top with mini SoFi Stadium inside
➖ Pieces of game-winning ball and SoFi Turf
➖ .23 carats of diamonds on columns for 23 points in Super Bowl
➖ Most carat weight in the history of a sports championship ring pic.twitter.com/SRYRuD1T7R