Dallas Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain’s latest failed drug test was triggered from his use of “purple drank,” multiple sources confirmed Tuesday.
He told the team it was because of marijuana, per a source.
Purple drank, also known as sizzurp or lean, is a concoction that includes codeine, cough syrup and Sprite. A Jolly Rancher is often thrown in for extra sweetness.
McClain is in stage three of the NFL’s substance abuse program and has been suspended the first 10 games of this season.
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Although he was back in Dallas last week, McClain did not join the team for the flight to training camp Thursday, as expected, and was placed on the reserve/did not report list.
McClain missed the entire off-season program, including organized team activities, though he showed up for minicamp, out of shape, to avoid being fined.
It all raises questions about his future in the NFL and whether he wants to play at all. His continued use of the purple drank could prompt a longer suspension from the NFL.
“Even we don’t know all the details,” vice-president Stephen Jones said Tuesday. “We just don’t know.”
McClain is subject to be fined $40,000 a day for missing training camp, per the NFL collective bargaining agreement. The Cowboys have not decided whether to levy the fine. The Cowboys could release McClain, costing them $750,000 against the cap.
As of now, the situation remains in limbo.
McClain has retired twice before and owner Jerry Jones had to coax him out of retirement to join the Cowboys in 2014.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett declined to comment when asked about McClain on Tuesday.
“We are focused on the guys who are here,” Garrett said.
McClain is one of three Cowboys who will begin this season on suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, joining defensive ends DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory.
Lawrence, who will miss the first four games, is in training camp with the rest of his teammates.
Gregory, who has been suspended for the first 10 games like McClain, is in a drug treatment center and might not play at all this year.
Garrett wasn’t overly pleased with the Cowboys’ first padded practice on Monday. He likely wasn’t pleased on Tuesday with multiple dropped passes and penalties.
But Garrett expects the execution to improve as camp moves along.
“There were too many players on the ground,” Garrett said. “The execution wasn’t very good, but it was really good to be out there with our team. I think they appreciated the opportunity to put the pads on and start playing real football. They did a good job with it.”
Cowboys to sign LB
Stephen Jones said the team is expected to sign linebacker James Morris, who worked out Tuesday.
Morris played college football at Iowa and was teammates with Anthony Hitchens. Since his college days, Morris has spent time in the New England Patriots (2014) and New York Giants (2015) organizations.
Morris finished his college career with 399 tackles, 9.5 sacks and three interceptions.