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Reports: Jameel McClain Cleared To Play

Posted Oct 9, 2013

The Ravens inside linebacker has been sidelined for 10 months due to a spine injury.


Jameel McClain’s long voyage back from a spine injury is reportedly nearly over.

After going through another magnetic resonance imaging exam, McClain has been medically cleared to resume playing this season, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun.

McClain has been sidelined for 10 months to the day. He went down with a spinal cord contusion after making a tackle in Washington on Dec. 9, putting him out for the Ravens’ Super Bowl run.

“It's always positive news. I've been saying it since the beginning that if I don't believe, then who will?” McClain told The Sun. “We're taking another step in the direction. When the time comes, we'll see. I didn't get anything back yet, but it's going to be good information.”

McClain is on the reserve physically-unable-to-perform list, which means he would be eligible to begin practicing after Week 6. That would put him potentially on pace for Monday.

It’s still unclear when McClain would be ready to practice or play even if he is cleared. He said he didn’t know.

McClain’s injury reportedly didn't require surgery, and he hasn't complained of pain or soreness in several months. He’s been training and staying in shape throughout the healing process, but has yet to engage in football activities. Being cleared for contact would mean he’s now healthy enough to hit.

More than one doctor was reportedly encouraged by the progress they have seen.

In late August, Head Coach John Harbaugh said there was “no question” McClain’s injury would eventually heal, but stressed that the Ravens would be cautious with his return. The team had conversations with McClain and his family about his future.

If McClain does return, it’s also not clear where he would fit into the defense.

Daryl Smith and Josh Bynes have been very effective up the middle. McClain, who signed a three-year contract before last season, started 13 games and made 79 tackles. He reportedly accepted a base salary pay cut from $3 million to $1.5 million this offseason, but could earn back the money based on playing time.

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