The Dallas Cowboys activated middle linebacker Rolando McClain from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list before practice on Monday evening, clearing him to work out with the team for the first time since training camp started. McClain spent all of training camp sidelined as he recovered from offseason knee surgery.
In the long term, this means McClain will have a chance to miss one less game to begin the season. He’s already suspended for the first four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, and if he had started on the PUP list, he wouldn’t have been eligible to return until after Week 6.
The Cowboys have a bye in Week 6, but he wouldn’t be eligible for the Week 5 matchup with the Patriots on Oct. 11. Now, he will be.
In the short term, Cowboys coaches are excited to work with McClain, even if it is just for two days. After Thursday’s preseason finale, McClain won’t be allowed to practice with the team again until October 5.
“It was great to have him out there,” said linebackers coach Matt Eberflus, per the Dallas Morning News. “He’s working with the other linebackers, working with Sean (Lee), working with the first group, being familiar with those guys and getting comfortable. Reps are reps. We can get him in there, make him feel comfortable and have him make the close calls and all those communication things and he’ll be fine.”