By Ryan Leong
Wednesday’s news was all about linebacker Rolando McClain and possibly his final days wearing the Silver and Black. He was absent from practice and head coach Dennis Allen only commented that McClain missed practice for “team related issues”
Kyle Burger of WVTM-TV in Birmingham, Ala., tweeted that McClain wrote on his Facebook page that he was “Officially no longer an Oakland Raider!!” and “I’d like to be anywhere besides here.” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport also tweeted the same information and later said the thread had been removed in the late afternoon.
Allen said he didn’t know whether McClain would return to practice Thursday, and would not elaborate on the matter.
“No more details, no more comments, just team-related issues,” Allen said after practice. McClain was still listed on the official team roster and was not listed on the waiver wive according to a team spokesperson. McClain was the final draft pick of former Raiders owner Al Davis, the eighth overall pick in the 2010 draft.
He has been nothing but a headache for the team, especially with his off-field problems the last two years. First in January 2011, he was shot at while he was a passenger in an SUV in his hometown of Decatur. No one was injured but a bullet was recovered in the rear hatch.
But more troubling was what happened in late December when McClain was accused of threatening a man and firing a gun next to his ear. He was recently cleared by a judge of all charges because the man who made the allegation refused to proceed.
This season, McClain has been a major disappointment, getting his playing time cut in half after the fourth game of the season. He has been replaced at middle linebacker by Omar Gaither who was signed by the team as a free agent on November 14. McClain is due to have a salary cap number of $6.675 million in 2013, $8.475 million in 2014 and $5.085 million in 2015.
In other news, running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson both returned for the first time to practice since both were injured November 4 with high ankle sprains. They each have missed three games and spent two weeks in walking boots.
“Both Goodson and McFadden practiced on a limited basis, took reps with the first group some today,” Allen said. “It’s still an evaluation process. We’ll have to see how they go the rest of the week. It obviously was good to see them back out there.”
Allen isn’t concerned about the rainy weather that will likely affect the condition of the playing field and both will see playing time against Cleveland. He does admit both players will be rusty having missed nearly a month.
McFadden leads the Raiders in rushing with 455 yards on 139 carries, but is averaging only 3.3 yards per carry. Goodson ranks third on the team with 111 yards on 17 carries and has 14 catches for 173 yards and one touchdown.
Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer was glad to see both teammates back on the practice field.
“Great, just to see them in the huddle,” Palmer said. “It feels like it has been a lot longer than it actually has. It’s just good to see them in the huddle, see them get reps, see Darren smiling and hitting the hole hard and same thing with Goody [Mike Goodson]. It’s good for the team but also good for the offense to have those guys back.”
Defensive tackle Richard Seymour did not practice and has missed the last three games with knee and hamstring injuries. Outside Linebacker Miles Burris missed practice with the flu.
For more Local Football Bloggers and the latest Raiders news, see CBS Sports Sacramento.
Ryan Leong has reported on over 2,800 games in the Bay Area since 1998, covering the Sharks, Giants, A’s, Warriors, 49ers, Raiders and the local college teams for radio networks and wire services. Having the best seat in the house to watch sports has been a thrill and Ryan still enjoys going to the games giving fans some insight and perspective on the players and coaches. His work can be found on Examiner.com.