Rams News: Aaron Donald Expects Young Defensive Players To Step Up As Leaders In Place Of Lost Veterans
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After rumors swirled about him potentially hanging it up, Los Angeles Rams star Aaron Donald came out and announced that he would be returning for the 2023 season.

Donald saw his season get cut short due to injury for the first time in his career, but that wasn’t enough for him to retire. Instead, the future Hall of Famer will be tasked with leading a young Rams defensive unit.

Donald is by far and away the heart and soul of the defense, but he also called for players like Ernest Jones and Jordan Fuller to step up as leaders this upcoming season in place of lost veterans, via Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:

“Obviously you don’t got a Bobby Wagner or a Jalen out there to do it, but you got a guy like Ernest that’s going to step up and play a leadership role, you got a Fuller out there,” Donald said. “There’s guys that’s young, but on this team they’re no longer young. It’s time to step up and be a leader as well. You just got to trust them guys are going to speak up and motivate me too. We all need it. No matter how long you’ve been playing this game, or how much success you’ve had in it, we all need somebody to push you.”

As the longest-tenured player on the roster, Donald understand how the Rams organization operates and thus wasn’t too surprised about the decision to cut several veterans in the offseason:

“You kind of got an idea of what was going on, as far as certain moves that we were going to have to make,” Donald said. “But it was more, if we bring in young guys in, as long as they got the mindset to work and they got the right mindset to do what they need to do at a high level and want to put that work in, me personally, as a football player, as a competitor, I can work with that. I want a bunch of guys that are hungry. No matter if they’ve played no snaps or 10 snaps, as long as they got that mindset.”

Without players like Bobby Wagner and Jalen Ramsey, Jones and Fuller have sizable shoes to fill both on and off the field. Both players have exhibited excellent leadership qualities so far in their careers, but they’ll be called upon more than ever as the Rams and the rest of the roster navigate some uncertain waters next year.