There would be no 40-yard dashing or measured jumping for Rolando McClain on Monday.
A previously unreported hamstring injury kept the former Alabama linebacker and Decatur product from participating in the workout portion of the NFL Scouting Combine Monday afternoon in Indianapolis.
The Butkus Award winner, projected as a high first-round pick in the April NFL draft, will instead wait for the March 10 Pro Day in Tuscaloosa to workout for the pro scouts. Missing Monday’s physical exhibition caught many observers off guard.
The NFL Network had the only live cameras inside Lucas Oil Stadium and surprised commentators quickly jumped in to report McClain’s absence. At first, reports indicated no health reasons but a spokesperson for McClain’s agent confirmed otherwise.
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He’s been nursing a hamstring injury “since his bowl game” and had an MRI done this weekend for the pro scouts. The NFL Network reported he was receiving treatment twice a day on his ailing hamstring.
Neither McClain nor his agent Pat Dye Jr. was available to comment Monday. There was no indication of any health issues involving McClain in a Feb. 4 interview Dye did with The Decatur Daily in which he reported McClain was training in Florida.
Speaking to reporters in Indianapolis on Thursday, McClain didn’t mention an injury. In fact, he spoke about having good fortune in that category.
“I was blessed not to have a lot of injuries,” McClain was quoted as saying by The Birmingham News.
The exact nature of the hamstring injury was not made clear Monday, just nine days before McClain and the other Alabama draft prospects participate in a “pro day” tryout similar to that of the Combine. It was at the 2009 pro day that former Tide offensive lineman infamously ran a shirtless 40-yard dash after skipping the workouts at the Combine, the annual gathering of pro scouts and executives to evaluate talent for the upcoming draft.
Before bypassing Monday’s activities in Indianapolis, McClain did go through the other batteries of tests at the Combine. He weighed in at 254 pounds and shod 6-foot-3 four pounds lighter and one inch shorter than he was listed as a junior at Alabama last fall.
Weight fluctuations, however, are hardly out of the ordinary. Take Terrence Cody for example.
He weighed in 16 pounds lighter than he did at last month’s Senior Bowl when he drew headlines for tipping the scales at 370 pounds in Mobile.
McClain and Cody were just two of the 10 Alabama players in Indianapolis for a long weekend of tests and exams. McClain is projected as the highest pick among the Crimson Tide prospects while Javier Arenas, Kareem Jackson, Mike Johnson and Cody all have a shot at being taken in the first three rounds of the April 22-24 draft.
The Crimson Tide officially announced the hiring of a former candidate for the Austin High School head job.
A Monday evening news release formally introduced Kevin Sherrer as the new director of player development. The former Hoover High School defensive coordinator was one of four finalists announced in mid-February to replace David Norwood.
Instead, he’ll handle off-the-field issues for the defending national champions. According to the news release, Sherrer will “serve as an important resource in balancing the demands of academics, athletics, community outreach, and their personal lives,” as well as assist with the strength and conditioning program, and the peer intervention group.