Los Angeles Rams superstar defensive tackle Aaron Donald revealed during a Thursday news conference he reached out to former teammate and current Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff ahead of Sunday’s prime-time wild-card playoff game between the clubs.
“We had a good relationship,” Donald said about Goff, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. “We were cool. Proud of what he’d been accomplishing. Reached out to him and told him I’m proud of him. So I feel like we have a good relationship.”
Donald and Goff were teammates with the Rams from 2016 until Los Angeles traded the signal-caller to Detroit in March 2021. Thus, the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year is quite familiar with what Goff offers a Lions offense that could make life difficult for Donald and company on Sunday night.
“Obviously he grew as a player so you know some things he did well, some things that made him feel uncomfortable you could take advantage of,” Donald added about Goff. “But obviously he grew as a player. The X’s and O’s, he probably knows even much more than what he did when he was here. So he’s a great football player. We know he’s not the most mobile guy, but when he’s got a clean pocket and he’s able to make all the right throws, he can do that. So we just got to do a great job of finding ways to put pressure on him, make him uncomfortable, and hopefully we get to him.”
While Rams head coach Sean McVay has regrets regarding how he handled Goff’s departure, Goff admitted earlier this week he still has a chip on his shoulder related to the trade. As of late Friday morning, DraftKings Sportsbook listed the 12-5 Lions as three-point favorites against the 10-7 Rams.
Goff seemingly will be looking to make a statement against his former employer in front of a national television audience this weekend.