Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald: "I don’t think it would be fun to play a football game without fans.” Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If the NFL is able figure out a way to begin its 2020 season on time, there is virtually no chance fans will be attending games due to uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic.

If that indeed comes to fruition and games are held in empty stadiums devoid of fans this fall, Los Angeles Rams superstar defensive tackle Aaron Donald will not enjoy it one bit.

“You need fans to play a game,” Donald said Thursday on a video conference with reporters, per Lindsey Thiry of ESPN. “I don’t see how you could play a game without no fans. I feel like that takes out the excitement and the fun out of the game …

“I feel like the fans is what pick you up. The fans is what makes the game exciting. The fans will give you that extra juice when you’re tired and fatigued, when you make that big play and you hear 80,000 fans going crazy. That just pumps you up.”

A fan-less gameday undoubtedly would make for a surreal experience for the players. As Donald notes, players feed off the energy created by thousands of screaming fans, even in opposing stadiums.

Playing in such a sterile environment obviously would have a profound impact on players, not to mention fans watching games at home. That helps explain why networks are scrambling to come up with some truly unconventional methods through which a quasi-gameday vibe could be artificially created.

Regardless of how things play out amid all the uncertainty, Donald is keeping himself in shape the best he can by working out in his home gym. When the 2020 season actually kicks off, the two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year is hoping something is figured out so fans can attend games.

“You practice, and practice is practice. And then you prepare to play a game and be on a big stage and play in front of a crowd,” Donald said. “… Just no excitement (without fans). It wouldn’t be fun to me. I don’t think it would be fun to play a football game without fans.”

This article first appeared on Sportress of Blogitude and was syndicated with permission.


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Can you name the player currently on every NFL roster with the most sacks for that franchise?

An asterisk (*) indicates the player was drafted by another franchise. Double asterisks (**) indicate the player went undrafted the year in which they were eligible. 

ARI / 60.0 / 2011*
Chandler Jones
ATL / 37.5 / 2015
Vic Beasley
BAL / 28.5 / 2016
Matt Judon
BUF / 46.5 / 2013*
Jerry Hughes
CAR / 55.5 / 2012*
Mario Addison
CHI / 24.0 / 2012*
Akiem Hicks
CIN / 81.5 / 2010
Carlos Dunlap
CLE / 30.5 / 2017
Myles Garrett
DAL / 39.0 / 2014
Demarcus Lawrence
DEN / 106.0 / 2011
Von Miller
DET / 14.0 / 2014*
Devon Kennard
GB / 16.5 / 2016
Kenny Clark
HOU / 96.0 / 2011
J.J. Watt
IND / 15.5 / 2011*
Jabaal Sheard
JAX / 37.5 / 2016
Yannick Ngakoue
KC / 33.0 / 2016
Chris Jones
LAC / 49.0 / 2012
Melvin Ingram
LAR / 72.0 / 2014
Aaron Donald
MIA / 10.5 / 2010
Reshad Jones
MIN / 74.5 / 2010
Everson Griffen
NE / 25.5 / 2012
Dont'a Hightower
NO / 87.0 / 2011
Cameron Jordan
NYG / 10.0 / 2015*
Markus Golden
NYJ / 20.5 / 2016
Jordan Jenkins
OAK / 10.0 / 2019
Maxx Crosby
PHI / 51.0 / 2010
Brandon Graham
PIT / 54.0 / 2011
Cameron Heyward
SF / 28.5 / 2016
DeForest Buckner
SEA / 19.5 / 2012
Bobby Wagner
TB / 22.5 / 2012
Lavonte David
TEN / 51.0 / 2011
Jurrell Casey
WAS / 90.0 / 2011
Ryan Kerrigan

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