Aaron Donald certainly didn’t look like a player who was on his way out the door in the Los Angeles Rams’ 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI Sunday night.
With the Rams’ defense needing a stop in the third quarter after a momentum swing turned in favor of the Bengals, Donald sacked Burrow twice and forced a field goal when a touchdown might’ve been fatal. And on the Bengals’ final drive with under a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, Donald stuffed Samaje Perine on third-and-1 and forced an incomplete from Joe Burrow on the next play to seal a Super Bowl title for the Rams.
After reports surfaced before the game that Donald might retire if the Rams were to win the Super Bowl, completing the final piece in Donald’s NFL legacy, Donald spoke with NBC’s Michele Tafoya following the game and while she asked about retirement, Donald just wanted to soak in the moment.
“I’m just going to enjoy this right now with these guys,” Donald said to Tafoya. “My kids come on the field, this is a promise I made to my daughter when she was five, so we’re gonna play in the confetti for a minute, man. I’m just going to live in the moment.”
“My kids come on the field – this is a promise I made to her when she was 5. We’re going to play in the confetti for a minute and just live in the moment”@AaronDonald97 speaks to Michele Tafoya about the possibility of retirement after winning #SBLVI
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) February 14, 2022
Donald recorded 13 tackles (six solo), four tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and a pass defense this postseason — in addition to game-sealing plays in the NFC Championship and the Super Bowl to clinch his long-awaited ring.
It was another regular season of success for Donald, securing his seventh consecutive All-Pro honors with 84 tackles (38 solo), 19 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and four passes defended.
Donald has racked up 441 tackles (285 solo), 150 tackles for loss, 98 sacks, 23 forced fumbles, six recoveries, 16 passes defended and one safety in his eight NFL seasons. With three NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, seven first-team All-Pro honors and now a Super Bowl ring, Donald has officially done it all.
If this is the end for Donald, he’s going out at the pinnacle of perfection, but is this really the last we’ll see of Aaron Donald in the NFL?