“Run it back!”

That’s the phrase that was jokingly used by Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay at the team’s Super Bowl victory parade to stave one of the greatest defensive players off from potential retirement.

Indeed, on a makeshift stage in front of thousands of fans outside the L.A. Coliseum, with the Olympic torch lit, McVay playfully McVay gestured to Aaron Donald as the Rams defensive tackle was finishing a speech.

“We built a super team, we can bring the super-team back,” Donald said. “Why not run it back? We can be world champs again!”

The scene seemed to diffuse rumors that the 36-year-old McVay, who’s reached two Super Bowls in five seasons, and three-time Defensive Player of the Year and seven-time All-Pro heading into his age-31 season Donald would retire or jump ship after the team’s 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI.

McVay responded cryptically to a question Monday about returning in 2022 with, “We’ll see,” sparking rumors of an exit. On Wednesday night, though, his fiancée, Veronika Khomyn, posted a photo of McVay to her Instagram story with the caption, “And no. He is NOT retiring!!!”

With regards to Donald, prior to the Super Bowl, former NFL safety and current NBC analyst Rodney Harrison said that there’s “a strong possibility” Donald retires if the Rams win the Super Bowl—even with three years remaining on his contract.

“You saw Sean on stage today,” Rams COO Kevin Demoff said. “He’s ready to go defend our title.”

The team filled four double-decker buses on a 1.1-mile parade route that began at the Shrine Auditorium and went down Figueroa Street before reaching the Coliseum—the Rams’ home for nearly 40 years.

The Rams became the third major L.A. sports team to win a championship in a span of 16 months (Dodgers, Lakers; though they didn’t have a parade due to COVID-19 restrictions).

Andrew Whitworth, the 40-year-old left tackle who won the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, was not as adamant about returning, saying, “We’ll save that conversation for another day.”

Von Miller, the 32-year-old Pro Bowl linebacker who is venturing into free agency, was not, “Man, we ain’t going nowhere.”

Read more about:
Listen to the uInterview Podcast!
Get the most-revealing celebrity conversations with the uInterview podcast!