Defensive tackle John McCargo was on the practice field with the Buffalo Bills on Thursday, one day after his trade to Indianapolis was voided when he failed the Colts' physical. Bills coach Dick Jauron said the team was happy to have McCargo back. McCargo might have other ideas, though.
"I don't think anything I say is going to lead to anything positive," he said. "I talked to Chris [Jenkins, the Bills' media relations director] and he told me to tell you all that, right now, I've got nothing to say about it. Take it how it is. I don't know. Maybe one day I will."
Doesn't sound like a guy who is thrilled to be back, does it? Well, it's understandable.
One day, he was looking forward to starting anew with a team that wanted him. The next day, he was back with a team that felt his services were no longer needed.
McCargo, the second of two first-round draft picks in 2006, fell out of favor with the Bills because of his inconsistent play. While Jauron doesn't see McCargo's return as awkward, McCargo's teammates took a different view.
"I think it's an awkward situation for everybody," defensive tackle Kyle Williams said. "I can't speak for how he feels, but he's got to be feeling, 'They didn't want me here and now I'm back.' He was excited about the opportunity to go to Indianapolis. To have to be back here, it's got to be an uncomfortable position to be in."
"Being a defensive lineman with him and a team captain for him, it's a tough situation," added defensive end Chris Kelsay. "It would be hard for him to look favorably on it, being traded and wind back up here because of a failed physical. So I'm sure it's hard for him."
The Colts voided the trade after their diagnosis revealed McCargo had a bulging disk in his back.
But the Bills' medical staff found no such evidence and cleared him to practice Thursday.
"He passed our physical, and every physical is different in the National Football League," Jauron said. "I have great confidence in our medical staff."
How long McCargo stays with the Bills remains to be seen. They certainly wouldn't want to let him go without getting some kind of compensation. The Colts reportedly were prepared to give up their 2009 fourth-round draft pick for him.
But the Bills have to find a way to make McCargo feel welcome again, if that's possible.
"As teammates, we've got to encourage him to keep working hard and staying focused because ultimately if you do that, things will take care of themselves, whether it's here or somewhere else," Kelsay said. "You've got to put good play on film and the only way you can do that is to work hard in practice, study hard in the classroom and try to be as positive as he can. I hope he handles it like a professional, which I'm sure he did and will continue to do so."
Defensive end Aaron Schobel, cornerback Terrence McGee and center Melvin Fowler were the only players who didn't practice Thursday.
Schobel, who is nursing an ailing left foot, was not on the field during the period of practice the media is allowed to see. McGee (sprained knee) and Fowler (elbow) were in uniform without pads, but were spectators.
Jauron hasn't ruled the players out of Sunday's game against San Diego, but the status of Schobel and McGee looks more doubtful than Fowler.
The Chargers may be without two of their top receivers for Sunday's game. Chris Chambers (ankle) and Craig Davis (groin) missed practice for a second straight day, putting their availability in doubt. Chambers leads the team with five touchdowns.
Running backs LaDainian Tomlinson (toe) and Darren Sproles (ankle) returned to practice Thursday, though Sproles was limited. Fullback Mike Tolbert (ankle) was limited as well.
On the defensive side, outside linebacker Jyles Tucker (hamstring) has not practiced in two weeks, but the Chargers hold out hope that he can play Sunday.