Donald’s first four words in his byline are “Former Pitt Football Player.” But on Sunday, January 15, the word “former” was typed in front of “NFL D Lineman for the Rams #99,” which sent the NFL world and Rams Twitter into chaos with wondering if Donald was retiring. Donald’s retirement talks, however, turned out to be a false alarm and on Wednesday, January 18, he finally responded to the retiring chatter to Ex-NFL defensive lineman Chris Long.
“Yeah I’m playing never said I wasn’t,” was in Donald’s response tweet to a video clip involving “C-Lo.”
Long, who won two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles plus played with Donald for two seasons in St. Louis in 2014 and 2015, even believed Donald was all in on playing in 2023.
“I have very good reason to believe that,” Long said on The Season podcast with the NFL Network’s Peter Schrager. “I know there was a Twitter bio thing. But yeah, he’s going to play. And I just think the fire in him to finish strong and to reach these heights that so few have reached, I mean he is within striking distance of a lot of legendary players.”
Long also described Donald walking into a 2023 season that’s not a rebuild for the Rams, but rather a “reset.”
Donald’s Wife Also Reacted to Rumblings About ‘A.D’ Hanging it up
Long wasn’t the only one who rebuffed the retirement rumblings. So did someone closer to the perennial Pro Bowler: Donald’s wife Erica.
Mrs. Donald sent out a trio of tweets reacting the rumors. One was her posting the hand to face emoji three times on a tweet made by Overtime.
Then another that involved multiple laughing face emojis.
Finally, she posted a Steve Carrell Office gif telling everyone to “chillax.”
Donald Will be Returning to Revamped Staff, Including on Defense
While Donald has revealed his official intentions to play, he’ll be walking into a revamped coaching staff on the Rams as Sean McVay parted ways with five assistants from the 2022 staff announced late Wednesday afternoon.
But among the changes involves Donald’s side of the football on defense. Assistant defensive line coach Skyler Jones, defensive assistant Lance Schulters and defensive backs coach Jonathan Cooley were among the notable staff changes.
Jones is considered an impactful change involving Donald, since he collaborated with Eric Henderson in working with the Rams’ defensive front. Jones was in his first season working with the Rams in ’22. He was previously at the college level with Norfolk State (where he was also the program’s recruiting coordinator) and Southern University in the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) realm.
More changes could be on the horizon in the defense department for the Rams. Donald’s defensive coordinator for the past two seasons Raheem Morris completed a Friday, January 13 interview with the Indianapolis Colts and has now been called an “intriguing candidate” for the head coaching position by Colts insider for The Athletic Zak Keefer.