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Cowboys LB Rolando McClain suspended 4 games for violating substance abuse policy

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Rolando McClain will miss four games after being suspended for a violation of the league's substance abuse policy.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain has been suspended four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy, according to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports. There's not currently any information on what substance was involved.

McClain, 25, has had an up-and-down career to this point. A first-round pick by the Oakland Raiders in 2010, McClain struggled there before signing with the Baltimore Ravens in 2013. However, he announced his retirement before ever playing a down for the Ravens and then was dealt to the Cowboys in 2014.

When Dallas acquired him via trade, the move was seen as risky due to McClain's retirement and other character concerns. But McClain had a strong season with the Cowboys, and he wound up being named a Pro Bowl alternate. He signed a one-year deal to return to the team this offseason.

The NFL Players Association released a statement on behalf of McClain, in which he apologized and said he's looking forward to his return.

"I apologize to my family, the Cowboys organization, my teammates and Cowboys fans for my mistake," he said in the statement. "I will not break the rules of my profession in the future, and I regret my error. I look forward to returning to the field on Week 5, when I hope to help my team beat the Patriots."

Given that he's accepting responsibility, a reduced suspension is unlikely. As McClain noted in his statement, his return will come in a Cowboys home game against the Patriots on Oct. 11. He will miss games against the Giants, Eagles, Falcons and Saints. In four seasons in the league, McClain has played in 54 games, compiling 327 tackles, 7.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and three interceptions.