Dallas Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain returned to the practice field on Wednesday, after being suspended for the first four weeks of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, and drew encouraging reports from his teammates.
“He looked like Ro--he looked a little winded, but he was still Ro,” defensive end and reigning Cowboys sack leader Jeremy Mincey told the team’s official website.
McClain was one of the surprises of the 2014 season after being acquired from the Ravens and pulled out of his second career retirement to replace Sean Lee, who had been lost for the season with a torn ACL, at middle linebacker. McClain finished with 81 tackles, a sack and two interceptions.
One immediately noticeable difference in McClain from last year to this is that he’s heavier. But after a year and a half out of football, he says he was actually playing lighter than usual last year--that his weight this year is actually closer to his normal playing weight.
“I feel like last year I was lighter--a lot lighter than what I am normally used to playing at, but 18 months off, you’ll lose a little muscle mass,” McClain said. “I got my weight back and I should be able to sustain it a lot longer going on throughout the year.”