McClain back to 'full tilt' after neck injury

Doctors feared Jameel McClain's NFL career could be in jeopardy following his latest neck injury, but the Giants middle linebacker will be back at practice and at full strength this week.

Jameel McClain is entering his second season with New York Giants after leading the team in tackles during his inaugural season with the G-Men. The eight year pro out of Syracuse University has had an injury history with his back, requiring him to get spinal surgery during the 2012 season.

McClain has proven his strength and made formidable recovery from his spinal surgery, although he slightly reinjured his back during training camp with what the medical staff has deemed as a stinger. The inside linebacker missed Friday’s preseason game with the Bengals as well as two joint practices. However, just over a week after sustaining the injury, McClain is ready to fully participate in practice.

“I’m going to practice today,” McClain stated. “So I’m full tilt until a coach pulls me back. So I’m ready.”

As far as McClain is concerned, he going full throttle and it will be up to the coaching staff to moderate the reps and action he sees on the field. The former Raven said that the hardest part about dealing with the stinger was staying off the field and not being able to fly out with his teammates to Cincinnati.

“That’s the toughest part for me,” McClain commented on not going on the road trip. “But getting a chance to be here and get myself better and even more shape, doing some rehab, focusing on a little more of the football plays.”

It was endearing to hear the Orange alumni to focus on the positives about missing the road game, despite how much it pained him to remain idle for the week. The middle linebacker said he still found himself invested in the game, screaming at his television as if he were on the sidelines. As for the extent of his stinger injury, McClain said he was evaluated by a host of doctors to make sure that no part of his previous back injury was re-aggravated.

“They [the doctors] did all of their due diligence to make sure I was right, but it was clear from looking at the MRI that this wasn’t the same scenario, this was just a mild incident,” noted McClain.

It’s definitely a sigh of relief that the stinger wasn’t correlated to his former back injury. The entire ordeal is similar to David Wilson’s back problems which unfortunately forced the former first round draft to retire a season ago. Luckily, McClain’s situation is another story.

“It’s not fair for me to compare mine to David’s or to anybody else’s or even to the incident that I had before, because this was completely different.”

McClain has resumed practice and participated fully; the coaches will mediate his repetitions for the coming weeks but he is expected to partake in this week’s preseason matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.


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