SEE: Los Angeles Rams player uses helmet as weapon during massive brawl
A massive brawl broke out during intersquad practice between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday, ending the scrimmage earlier than expected.
Rams superstar defensive tackle Aaron Donaldson was seen using an opposing player’s helmet during the scrimmage to punch Bengals players multiple times. Preseason training in Cincinnati, Ohio was reportedly hectic ahead of the fight, with several post-breakup incidents throughout the day. Under NFL policy, any discipline for the practice field scrimmage should be determined by the Rams and Bengals themselves. The two teams last met in Super Bowl LVI, with the Rams defeating the Bengals 23-20.
“I just see guys swinging, and some guys have helmets, some guys don’t, there’s a scrum, you never know what can happen,” Rams head coach Sean McVay told the media. after training is interrupted. “My biggest concern is unnecessary injuries to the people we rely on. Whether it’s our team or the other team. I care about those guys, especially when you start throwing punches with material. I’ve had enough assholes in my past that I’ve done stupid stuff too.”
The brawl reportedly started when an unidentified Rams defender wrapped his arms around the chest of Bengals right tackle La’el Collins during a play. Collins, who took offense at being wrapped from behind, said threw punches once he was free, sparking the melee, according to ESPN.
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At one point, 8-time NFL Pro Bowler Donaldson is seen being knocked to the ground with a Bengals helmet still in hand. After coaches and officials separated the warmed up players, practice ended early. McVay said after practice it appeared no player was injured during the fight.
“I know how volatile and fragile it is when you hit it the wrong way and you break your hand and it could affect a guy’s chances of being okay, or God forbid somebody one gets hit in the head with the helmet. I don’t know what emotions I was feeling right there. I was just glad everything was broken, and my understanding was good for everyone,” said the winning coach of the Super Bowl.
“These are guys standing up for each other. What exactly is the right way to handle this? If you know the answer, I’d love to hear your perspective,” McVay told media. “I’m always going to support our players, they’re going to support each other. I’m not interested in diving deep into how it started or what happened there.”
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The two teams will meet in a preseason match on Saturday.