The NFL fined Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald $16,391 for roughing Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith in last week’s season-opening 30-13 Rams win, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported Saturday.
If you’re thinking “Oh my God,” at the thought of being penalized that amount of money, Smith had a similar reaction when he saw the All-Pro tackle barreling toward him. The only difference is his exclamation came from a place of understandable fear, considering there wasn’t a soul in position to stop Donald as he sped through a gap in the second quarter Sunday:
Donald, who weighs 280 pounds, will go down as one of the best defensive players the league has ever seen. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year had four tackles and half a sack in the opener.
Last season, while dealing with an ankle injury, he had 49 tackles and five sacks in 11 games. But he’s had at least 11 sacks in five of the last six seasons and led the league with 20.5 in 2018.
He would probably elicit a terrified reaction from just about anyone. Smith just happened to be mic’d up. The quarterback wasn’t able to lead the Seahawks to a first down on the play that gave us his audible reaction, as he threw the ball to the feet of rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Smith went 16-of-26 for 112 yards and threw for one touchdown in the loss, a 10-yarder to wide receiver D.K. Metcalf in the second quarter.
D.K. Metcalf fined for unnecessary roughness
Metcalf led the Seahawks in the opener with 47 yards and a touchdown on three receptions. He was also cited by the league, according to a separate report from Pelissero Saturday.
The NFL reportedly fined him $10,927 for unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary roughness after a hit on Los Angeles Rams cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon in the fourth quarter of the NFC West matchup.
The wideout was seen on the Fox broadcast giving Witherspoon a hard shove that sent him to the turf when he wasn’t looking. Witherspoon stayed down and had to be examined by the Rams medical staff after the incident, which occurred on the first play of Seattle’s drive with 4:51 to go.
Metcalf was eventually assessed a 15-yard taunting penalty for exchanging words with angry players on Los Angeles’ sideline.
Rams head coach Sean McVay told reporters on Monday that Witherspoon sustained a rib and hip contusion as a result of the hit from Metcalf. After the game, Metcalf said “they played harder,” and blamed his lack of preparation for the loss.
Seattle will play the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Sunday, in hopes of avoiding an 0-2 start for the first time since 2018.