He’s moved on to preparing for Monday night’s showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs, but Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald still might have some business to attend to related to his actions during a Week 10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Donald was penalized for unnecessary roughness after fighting with Seahawks center Justin Britt during the game, and the defensive tackle then came off the bench and sought Britt for another confrontation.
Does he expect to be fined by the NFL?
“I don’t know,” Donald said Friday. “I hope not.”
Donald’s actions — and those of teammates that resulted in several of their 10 penalties for 102 yards — cannot be repeated against a Chiefs team that will arrive at the Coliseum with a 9-1 record and the league’s highest-scoring offense.
Rams coach Sean McVay was happy with his team’s 36-31 victory over the Seahawks, but after the game was livid about the barrage of penalties, including Donald’s.
“We love Aaron, I love Aaron, and the best part about Aaron, like all of our players this year, when you have some situations that come up they’re able to take the ownership and accountability,” McVay said Friday, “And know what they can do if something like this comes up in the future.”
Donald, who received a $135-million extension before the season, said he needed to control his temper.
“I think everybody learned,” he said, adding: “We understand what was going on and what we need to be better.”
The Rams have been penalized 55 times, 10th fewest in the NFL. The Chiefs are the most penalized team in the league, with 84 infractions.
During his career, Donald has been fined $102,094 for six infractions, according to spotrac.com.
He was fined for five penalties during the 2016 season, and was fined $20,054 this season for a roughing-the-passer penalty in Week 1 against the Oakland Raiders.
Donald’s temper flared against the Seahawks after he scooped what he thought was a fumble by Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson — it was ruled an incomplete pass — and ran until he went out of bounds along the Rams’ sideline. Britt pushed Donald to the ground, starting a confrontation during which Donald grabbed Britt’s facemask.
“There were some things that took place throughout the course of the game that we didn’t like at all in terms of some of the things they were doing to him,” McVay said, adding, “There was some frustration that if you feel like you’re being put in a situation where you’re going to be hurt.”
Donald removed his shoulder pads before time expired. But after the game, he put his helmet on and sought Britt in the middle of the field, grabbing his facemask again.
Asked if he anticipated that Donald would be fined, McVay said it was not for him to decide but “really nothing got out of hand” after the game.
Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said players need to keep their composure.
“After-the-play penalties, we really don't accept them,” Phillips said. “They can't happen. … You've got to think about your team and what it costs if those things happen."
Donald, the NFL leader with 12½ sacks, said he did not expect opponents to model the Seahawks and try to get under his skin.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid knows Donald from coaching him during the 2016 Pro Bowl.
“He can play like five or six different positions,” Reid said, adding that Donald, “will go down as one of the greats to play that inside position there.”