Rolando McClain's role emerges

December, 12, 2012
12/12/12
5:15
PM ET
The two-week Rolando McClain saga in Oakland received some clarity Wednesday.

Oakland coach Dennis Allen told reporters McClain will be a backup at middle linebacker and will play special teams in the final three weeks of the season. That is not exactly an ideal assignment for a third-year player who was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2010 draft.

McClain returned to practice Wednesday after he was suspended the past two games by the Raiders for conduct detrimental to the team. During his suspension, Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie said it was possible that McClain had played his final game with Oakland.

Yet, he remains with the team. Still, since McClain has been a disappointment on the field and trouble off if it, I think the Raiders will lean heavily toward moving away from McClain after the season. Until then, he will be buried on the depth chart.

In other AFC West news:

The Chargers put safety Darrell Stuckey (hamstring) and defensive end Vaughn Martin (groin) on the injured reserve. In addition to linebacker Gary Guyton, the Chargers brought back running back Curtis Brinkley.

The NFL fined Minnesota punter Chris Kluwe for expressing support for Oakland punter Ray Guy's election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on his uniform. Guy is considered the best punter in NFL history by many. He is not a semifinalist for election into the Hall of Fame this year.

Oakland safety Tyvon Branch remains out of practice with a neck injury.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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