If recent reports are confirmed, Rolando McClain might have played his last game with the Dallas Cowboys because he’s been abusing what’s known as “purple drank.” According to Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole, the linebacker has gained about 40 pounds, as a result, and he hasn’t shown up to the team’s training camp.
McClain will serve a 10-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy to start the 2016 season, and he served a four-game suspension for violating the policy to begin last season. While NFL players sometimes make headlines smoking marijuana or getting a DUI, McClain’s story appears to be different.
What exactly is purple drank?
It’s a mixture of prescription cold medicine and soda, usually Sprite, that is used as a recreational drug. The cold medication contains codeine, and the drink is sometimes mixed with Jolly Ranchers. Purple drank is also referred to as “sizzurp” or “lean.”
Cole reports that McClain has gained weight because he’s abused the drug, and a source tells him that the linebacker isn’t likely to ever play for the Cowboys again. McClain signed a one-year contract with Dallas in March, but he was out of shape and did not practice at the team’s mandatory minicamp in June. He was suspended shortly thereafter.
McClain was once considered one of the NFL’s most talented young defensive players, but issues off the field have derailed his career. He was released by the Oakland Raiders in 2012 two years after they drafted him, and he announced his retirement at just 23 years old in 2013. He signed with the Cowboys after sitting out the 2013 season.
McClain isn’t the first NFL player that has made headlines because of purple drank. Former Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell was arrested for possession of a controlled substance when he was caught with codeine syrup in the summer of 2010.
Russell is arguably the biggest draft bust of all time, playing just three seasons after Oakland drafted him first overall in 2007 and gave him $39 million in guaranteed money.