Footage of Aaron Donald’s bizarre workout regiment caught the NFL world by surprise. Video captured the generational talent with his hand around a teammate’s neck, repelling his blocking attack.
But the workout doesn’t appear malicious, nor does it occur during team drills. Instead, the choking seems like a genuine exercise for Donald, crucial for his preparation of defending the Los Angeles Rams’ Super Bowl LVI victory.
Chatting with SiriusXM’s I Am Athlete Brandon Marshall, Donald explained the ordeal to the former wide receiver. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year said, “That’s a technique. I’m closing my A-gap so [the running back] can’t cut back. They’ll cut to me.”
Donald then jokes with Marshall, “I can show you right now.” The retired player wisely rejects the proposal likely fearing for his personal well-being. In the original video, rookie defensive lineman Elijah Garcia plays the role of the victim to the choke artist. The drill certainly ranks toward the top when it comes to rookie hazing. But it’s maybe not as bad as stripping before the team and belting Backstreet Boys’ iconic hit, I Want It That Way.
Is This Strange Tactic a Condition of Aaron Donald’s Return to Football?
Winning a Super Bowl and achieving the ultimate goal forced Donald to reflect on his football career, pondering potential retirement. As the confetti settled in the streets of Los Angeles, the franchise quickly found itself eyeing a return to the grand stage. However, rumors swirled about the potentially abrupt retirement of 36-year-old head coach Sean McVay.
McVay put the debates and rumors of the coach leaving for the television booth to bed shortly after the original circulation. However, had the offensive guru stepped away from the game, Donald believe he was next.
Speaking with NFL Network from Rams training camp, Donald said, “As long as he’s here and I got the ability to still play at a high level, I’m going to be here. When he’s gone and it’s all said and done, that probably will be when I’m hanging it up, too.”
The idea of Donald stepping away from football at his peak certainly becomes a frightening thought for Rams fans. However, a restructured contract this offseason keeps the stud lineman in Los Angeles through 2024. And with McVay, Donald and company dominating on the field, early retirement off the table for the football legends in the making.