The Los Angeles Rams were one of the most disappointing teams in the entire NFL last season. After winning Super Bowl LVI, the Rams finished with a 5-12 record in 2022.
Los Angeles’ roster was riddled with injuries last season. Quarterback Matt Stafford, star wide receiver Cooper Kupp and defensive tackle Aaron Donald’s campaigns were all cut short due to injury.
The 32-year-old Donald will almost certainly end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame shortly after he decides to call it quits, but he appears to ready to have a bounce-back season.
“We all need some type of fire, something to push you, something to get you going, and that’s something that I’m hanging on to right now,” he said via ESPN. “And I feel like we’ve got something to prove as a team. I think I got something to prove as a player, and that’s how we’re going to take it.”
Donald has received Defensive Player of the Year honors three times and is a seven-time All-Pro. But he did not finish in the top in the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year voting last season.
He has been durable throughout his standout NFL career, but 2022 marked the first time Donald was sidelined for more than two games. He suffered an ankle sprain and missed the six remaining games of the year.
Despite all he has accomplished throughout his storied career, Donald doubled down on the notion that he has something to prove in 2023.
“I’ve got a lot to prove,” he said. “I didn’t have the season I wanted, obviously coming off of an injury and things like that. I feel like to get to where you need to be, it’s like starting over from scratch again. It’s a brand-new year. Last year was last year, but there’s a little fire lit into me.”
The Rams are hoping to return to contention in 2023, and another solid year from Donald will certainly help the team pivot toward the right direction.
Donald flirted with retirement after Super Bowl LVI, but he said he is focused on the present and not concerning himself about the future.
“I’m just here today and just focused on what I got to do today,” Donald said. “I’m not really worried about what’s next right now. I’m just in this camp moment trying to get myself going.”