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Michael Sam returns to Alouettes after leaving team during training camp

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Michael Sam left the Montreal Alouettes training camp the night before the team's first preseason game to take care of personal issues.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Sam has returned to the Montreal Alouettes after leaving the team for two weeks before its first preseason game, Sam announced on Saturday. It's still unclear why Sam left. At the start of his absence, the Alouettes released a statement saying Sam asked the team for permission to return home for personal reasons.

The Alouettes also noted that they fully respect Sam's decision, and will rally around him to offer "all the support needed." The team left the door open for Sam to return, saying the linebacker/defensive end is open to return to Montreal "whenever he feels ready."

That day was Saturday, apparently:

Two weeks ago, Alouettes coach Tom Higgins was surprised that Sam was not at practice, according to the Montreal Gazette. Sam had also missed a practice that week due to a migraine, according to the report. The team's GM was also surprised and told the Montreal Gazette that Sam "wanted to go home."

"There's nothing to tell you. He wanted to go home, and that's what he did. I don't know why. When a guy wants to go home, they go home. He had some personal things to take care of. I wouldn't be surprised if he returns. I'm surprised he left. I was very surprised. If he doesn't come back, I would think football's over for him. He's the one that has to face that. But I don't think he doesn't want to play football. That's why he came here."

Sam signed a $100,000 contract with the team on May 22, once it became clear that no NFL team was going to target him after the league's veteran combine. Sam, the first openly gay player ever taken in the NFL Draft, spent time with the St. Louis Rams -- the team that drafted him -- and Dallas Cowboys. Sam was the co-SEC defensive player of the year in 2013 while playing with Missouri.

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