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McClain not on field as practice begins

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, December 2nd, 2011 at 10:44 am in Oakland Raiders.

Middle linebacker Rolando McClain was not on the field as warm-ups and drills concluded Friday morning and it’s not known whether he’ll make the trip to Miami after being arrested on four misdemeanor counts which included the firing of a weapon.

A Raiders official said he didn’t know whether McClain, who has missed practice time of late with an injured ankle, was at the team facility.

Raiders coach Hue Jackson will address the media following practice before the team boards a team charter to Miami for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the NFL will follow the legal process before making any determination on discipline for McClain.

“It will be reviewed under the league’s personal conduct policy we do not have an estimated timetable,’’ Aiello said in an e-mail Friday. “It is a legal matter and we will follow developments.’’

McClain was charged with third degree assault, reckless endangerment, menacing and discharging of a firearm within the city limits after an incident Wednesday night in his hometown of Decatur, Ala.

Jackson said McClain was excused from the team to attend the funeral of his grandfather.

Decatur defense attorney Billy C. Burney told the Associated Press McClain did not fire a gun and gave the following statement: “Mr. McClain asserts his innocence. We are confident Mr. McClain will be cleared of all charges.

Although the accuser was not named by police, he was identified and quoted by the television station WAFF and the Decatur Daily news as Rishard Tapscott, 23.

McClain and Jerradius Willingham, who was charged with assault and released on a $500 bond, were high school basketball teammates Tapscott at Decatur High School.

In an interview with WAFF, Tapscott explained his side of the story.

“I went over there, it was basically like an ambush, like they set me up to fight, because as soon as I got there they all went outside and I was sitting in the house,’’ Tapscott said. “That’s when they came back in the house and they were like, `You’re going to have to fight, come back out and fight.’ I was like, `I ain’t fighting. I ain’t coming outside,’ and that’s when he came back in the house and assaulted me.’’

There was no change in the status of the Raiders’ prominent injured players other than Richard Seymour was on the field and suited up, making it likely he will resume his role as a nickel interior pass rusher against Miami.

Running back Darren McFadden and wide receivers Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford, all with foot or ankle issues, have not practiced all week and almost certainly will not play.

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