In a press conference on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Rams‘ three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Aron Donaldsaid retirement from the NFL never crossed his mind this offseason.
“You don’t want to end your career like last year,” Donald said. “It never crossed my mind. I’m just trying to do everything I can to get myself healthy enough to be here today. “
That’s good news for Rams fans, who may have wondered if Donald was headed for retirement when he referred to himself as a “former” NFL defensive lineman in his Twitter bio in January. Previously, it was reported that Donald had submitted his retirement papers to the Rams during the 2022 offseason. He also said last year that he was ready to retire if Sean McVay didn’t return to coach the team.
Donald, who only played 11 games last season due to an ankle injury, admitted it was an adjustment. Before the ’22 season, Donald had never missed more than two games in a season.
“For the first time in my life, I had to deal with a serious injury, but I made a commitment to this organization to do my part,” added Donald.
Due to the Rams moving away from key defensive contributors such as Jalen Ramsey, Bobby Wagner and Leonard Floydthe nine-time Pro Bowler admitted, “The guys have to step up.”
Donald relishes his role as a vocal leader for a young Rams defense in the midst of transition.
“I feel like I need to be more vocal. Obviously you don’t have Bobby Wagner or Jalen to do it. … We all need someone to push you sometimes. If I stray, I want to let them know I’m drooling so I can pick it up and I’ll be fine. That’s all. It’s about holding each other accountable and pushing each other.”
LIVE: #RamsHouse Press Conference – Aaron Donald addresses the media. https://t.co/WyehEXxFm4
– Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) May 10, 2023