Los Angeles Rams defensive star Aaron Donald clarified to reporters Wednesday that he never had any intention to retire after the 2022 season. The lineman has long been rumored to be considering walking away, most recently in January when he changed his Twitter bio, but vehemently denied the reports in a press conference.

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“You never want to end your career the way it was last year,” Donald said. “It never really crossed my mind. I was just trying to do everything I could to get myself healthy to be here today.”

Donald changed his Twitter bio to read,” former NFL defensive lineman,” and also reportedly submitted retirement papers to the league office. There was also speculation last season that Donald, then a reigning Super Bowl winner, would have retired if head coach Sean McVay did not return to Los Angeles. An injury in 2022 was also reportedly a contributing factor in his consideration, but Donald refuted this as well.

“For the first time in my life, I had to deal with a serious injury, but I made a commitment to this organization to do my part,” Donald said.

Unlike the 2022 season, the Rams are not entering 2023 in high spirits, as the team went from Super Bowl champions to a 5-12 organization that missed the postseason. Donald could have retired on a high note after Super Bowl LVI but will instead need to bounce back in his 10th NFL season.

Donald went on to say that he looks forward to continuing as a leader for the team, which will now look to involve younger talent following the departures of Jalen Ramsey and Bobby Wagner.

“We all need somebody to push you at times. If I’m slacking, I want them to let me know I’m slacking so I can pick it up and I can get better,” Donald said. “That’s what it’s all about. It’s about holding each other accountable and pushing each other.”

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