Aaron Donald: Rams All-Pro tackle 'grinding every single day,' ready for season

The NFL is developing a face shield for players, but Rams All-Pro tackle Aaron Donald says it's not for him: "I need air when I'm out there running around."

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Thursday, August 6, 2020
Rams star tackle Aaron Donald ready for season
"I was grinding every single day," says Rams tackle Aaron Donald. "I'm getting older, but getting in better shape."

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (KABC) -- If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then the 2020 book on Aaron Donald is: He's ready to go!

"I'm in great shape," said the Rams All-Pro defensive tackle.

"I was grinding every single day. I was keeping myself in shape. I feel strong. I'm getting older, but getting in better shape," he said.

This eight-day acclimation period -- teams can only walk-though as Donald and the Rams learn a new defense.

But there's no denying - practice is as close to normal as this team has seen since last season.

"When I'm out there (on the practice field) I forget all the COVID stuff is going on," Donald said. "Once you're on the field, you're running around, doing drills, and it's normal."

Donald is a leader on and off the field. During this pandemic, that leadership includes reminding players to respect the COVID-19 protocols the other 22 hours of the day they're not playing football.

"For this thing to work, guys have to do it the right way," Donald said. "You can tell guys, and do whatever you need to do to explain it to them, but at the end of the day, we're all grown men."

The NFL is working with Oakley to develop a face shield to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

But it doesn't come without controversy.

Houston's All-Pro J.J. Watt said he wouldn't play if they forced him to wear one.

Some players are in favor of them, as they can also see the ball better.

But not Donald.

"No I haven't tried it," Donald said. "Honestly, I won't even put that on. I need air when I'm out there running around and breathing. You know, if a guy's got it, and I tackle him, then I'll get it because he will be sweating, slobbering and spitting all in my face. Hopefully guys just do what they need to do," he said.

Donald is clearly doing what he needs to do.