Rams’ Aaron Donald puts rookie to good use in training camp

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Aaron Donald is one of the most formidable defensive linemen in the NFL and training with him seemed to be more painful than previously thought.

Donald was spotted at Los Angeles Rams practice Saturday against one of the team’s rookies. Donald then put his right hand around the neck of undrafted rookie Elijah Garcia and moved to the side before swimming around him.

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Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald stands on the field at the NFL football team's practice facility Monday, Aug. 28.  1, 2022, in Irvine, CA.

Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald stands on the field at the NFL football team’s practice facility Monday, Aug. 28. 1, 2022, in Irvine, CA.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Garcia, a defensive lineman for Rice, took a crash course in the difficulty of being an offensive lineman trying to block Donald. Even if Donald was moving at half speed, having the hand of a 6-foot-1, 280-pound NFL superstar around his neck can’t be fun.

Donald added a Super Bowl ring to his impressive resume last season as the Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals. He quashed his fears of retiring after the win, signing a contract extension with Los Angeles, which in turn made the seven-time All-Pro a well-paid man.

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Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald smiles during NFL football practice Saturday July 30, 2022 in Irvine, Calif.

Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald smiles during NFL football practice Saturday July 30, 2022 in Irvine, Calif.
(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

According to the NFL Network, Donald got a $40 million raise. He is expected to receive $65 million guaranteed over the next two seasons and $95 million through 2024.

Since joining the Rams in 2014, Donald has played at least 16 games in seven of the eight years he has played. He’s won Defensive Player of the Year three times and was named Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2014. He’s been a Pro Bowl nominee in each of his eight professional seasons.

Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald, #99, during training camp at the University of California, Irvine on July 30, 2022.

Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald, #99, during training camp at the University of California, Irvine on July 30, 2022.
(Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports)

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He had 84 tackles and 12.5 sacks in 2021.