Aaron Donald Just Refused to Do What the NFL Wants

The NFL continues to push forward with an optimistic approach to play the 2020 season. The league has struggled to completely bring confidence from the players that all the safety precautions have been provided. Some options have come about that haven’t been met with strong support from the players. LA Rams star defensive tackle Aaron Donald has made it known he isn’t going to a particular route with the NFL wants.

NFL players airing concerns ahead of 2020 season

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The start of the regular season is just over a month away, but there remain lingering issues for the league to do work through.

That has drawn much concern from the players about how the NFL is going about handling the situation. Many notable stars such as Russell Wilson, J.J. Watt, Michael Thomas, and Aaron Donald have aired their concerns via social media that have pushed the league to ramp up their safety measures. That has led to a commitment to expected $75 million for daily coronavirus testing throughout the 2020 season.

Meanwhile, more than 40 players have elected to opt-out of playing the 2020 season due to health concerns. There are other matters, such as the expected pay cut the players will take at some point. Nonetheless, there are many different issues that the league has to put a handle on before things can settle into preparing for the upcoming campaign.

Aaron Donald doesn’t want to wear protective face shield

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With the growing concern over the coronavirus, the NFL has taken some extra health measures to provide players with additional resources.

One of which is the option of using the protective face shield to add another layer of protection against spreading the virus. However, the two-time Defensive Player of the Year isn’t a fan of utilizing that gear as he voiced on a conference call on Wednesday.

No, I haven’t tried it out. Honestly, I probably won’t even put that on. I need air when I’m out there running around and breathing with them long drives and stuff. I feel like, we’re out there, we’re playing up close there is nothing you can really do – if a guy got it and I tackle the guy, then I probably got it because he gone be sweating and spitting and slobbering all in my face. So, hopefully these guys are just doing what they need to do. The shield, they say it works, but I don’t really think it would, because the way football is played. Like I just said, that’s on guys doing what they need to do the right way outside of this facility, as long as guys do that, we’ll be fine.      

Donald’s reasoning goes a similar route to what Houston Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt stated about the gear. It’s something that impacts a player’s physical conditioning by making it harder to breathe during a game. There are likely many more players that feel the same about the face shield.

The intentions for it are in the right place, but it doesn’t allow the players to operate in a normal capacity.

Rams’ 2020 season outlook

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The Rams are coming off a disappointing showing last year after reaching the Super Bowl for the first time in nearly a decade.

LA fell just outside the playoff picture, which was a season full of injuries and consistency throughout. The Rams had a few losses that could have headed in the other direction, but the team couldn’t overcome their struggles through stretches of the campaign.

The front office has made some notable changes to the roster this offseason, but the team is in the position to bounce back in 2020. Aaron Donald has the opportunity to secure another Defensive Player of the Year award while the Rams move through an even tougher NFC West division. Beyond that, the opportunity will be there to reassert themselves among the playoff teams in the NFC.