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McClain Returns

Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain reportedly met with coach Dennis Allen before returning to practice Dec. 12 after serving a two-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team.

Speaking with reporters following practice in Alameda, Calif., Allen declined to reveal details of their meeting but said McClain would remain on the the roster in a backup role after starting nine games this season before his suspension.

"I laid out exactly what the expectations are for him moving forward,” Allen said. “Really that’s about it. We’re moving on from there. Rolando’s part of this team and we’re going to move on.”

McClain reportedly did not issue comment regarding his suspension and return to the team.

McClain, right, had not been at the team’s facilities since Nov. 28 when reportedly he was kicked out of practice following an argument with Allen. McClain was told not to return to practice and was suspended two days later.

McClain's return to the Raiders is somewhat surprising considering he posted several comments on Facebook criticizing the team after he was sent home from practice.

The eighth overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft reportedly posted that he was “mentally done” and “just waiting on my papers” after being sent home. Those comments were later removed.

Although neither McClain or the Raiders have said publicly what the dispute between the two men was about, Allen acknowledged Dec. 12 that the linebacker was told before the suspension that he had lost his starting job.

“Things get said in the heat of the moment,” Allen said. “We’ve gotta move on.”

Omar Gaither started at middle linebacker in place of McClain the past two weeks and continued to work with Oakland’s starting defense Dec. 12 while McClain practiced with the second-team unit.

McClain, 23, has struggled in his NFL career after helping Alabama win the 2009 national championship. In 41 career games with Oakland, he has 6½ sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and no fumble recoveries.

After being an every-down player for the first two seasons with the Raiders, McClain was demoted after the first month of this season. He was replaced by rookie Miles Burris in nickel packages reportedly because of McClain's struggles in pass coverage and because the coaching staff believed he tired too easily playing every down. He went from playing more than 90 percent of defensive snaps to just over half the past seven games before his suspension.

McClain also had problems off the field. He was involved in a shooting in Alabama in November 2011 when he left the team briefly during the season to attend a family funeral. McClain had been convicted of four misdemeanors in May 2012 but he appealed and the charges were recently dropped when the accuser told prosecutors he no longer wanted to pursue the case.

Updated: 12-12-2012

Contributing: The Associated Press


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