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Suppose the jersey swaps and post-game autographs between players are growing a bit trite these days. In that case, a rift escalating between Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and San Francisco 49ers wideout Deebo Samuel is giving life to the theatrics of rivalry football.
Ahead of their teams’ Week 18 matchup, Samuel was recently asked by The Athletic’s David Lombardi regarding an interview from 2020 where Donald brushed off a question about Samuel, giving a petty answer that he didn’t recognize the name.
Naturally, Samuel harbored some ill will over the DT’s comments and was asked if he has since met with Donald to quash the off-field discourse.
“No, I haven’t,” answered Samuel, recycling the answer when asked if he’s waiting on Donald to reach across the aisle. “No, I’m not.”
Los Angeles has challenged and overpowered the salt of the League in recent years, but the Niners remain the thorn at their side, notably since Samuel’s drafting.
As noted by ClutchPoints, Samuel has a 5-0 career record against the Los Angeles Rams — a three-season stretch where LA has peaked above the Cardinals and Seahawks but not the Niners.
On Nov. 15, the Rams traveled to Levi’s Stadium to face off against San Francisco, resulting in a devastating outing by Donald and the defense (31-10).
Deebo’s fifth-most receiving yards in the League (1,310) and nine total touchdowns advanced him into the WR1 discussion this season.
Aaron Donald is still the last guy in the League to pick a fight against, to boot. However, stopping a motivated Samuel in a desperate scenario for his offense and team could prove to be a nightmare assignment for the Rams defense.
Without any outreach off the field, the two will surely wait until an encounter at SoFi Stadium presents an opportunity to talk things out.
Samuel and the Niners will visit on Sunday to contend for their NFC wild card spot. The Rams will clinch the NFC West race with a win.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela