Rolando McClain plays despite arrest

Updated: December 5, 2011, 12:07 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

MIAMI -- Linebacker Rolando McClain played for the Oakland Raiders in Sunday's game at Miami, three days after he was arrested on misdemeanor assault, firearms and other charges in his Alabama hometown.

Police said McClain fired a gun during a fight. He was in Alabama to attend his grandfather's funeral and didn't practice this week.

Coach Hue Jackson said he decided to play McClain after they discussed what had happened.

"I'm backing my player on this. I trust some things he shared with me," Jackson said. "If the league decides to come down on him, then I'm going to come down on him like you've never seen."

McClain didn't start but had eight tackles to lead the Raiders, who lost to Miami 34-14. He declined to talk to reporters after the game.

According to a statement released Thursday by John Crouch of the Decatur Police Department, the 22-year-old McClain is alleged to have held a gun beside a man's head during an altercation and the man begged him not to shoot.

McClain moved the gun but fired a round beside the man's ear, according to the statement. No one was shot, but police said a man who was injured in the altercation drove himself to a hospital, where he was treated and released.

McClain was arrested the following day and faces charges of assault, menacing, reckless endangerment and firing a gun inside the city limits.

McClain's attorney, Billy C. Burney II, said the linebacker denies he fired a gun and said he was not involved in the fight.

Meanwhile, Dolphins guard Vernon Carey was inactive Sunday because of a left ankle injury, and John Jerry is scheduled to start for him.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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