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Alouettes place Sam on suspended list

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The Montreal Alouettes placed defensive end Michael Sam on their suspended list Monday after he left the team’s training camp last week for personal reasons.

The nature of Sam’s departure on Friday is unexplained.

“Friday morning, Michael asked the team a special permission to leave training camp and return home for personal reasons,” the team said in a statement Friday. “The Montreal Alouettes fully respect Michael Sam’s decision and rally around him to offer him all time and support needed. The team has left the door open and Michael is welcome to come back whenever he feels ready.”

The Alouettes freed up a roster spot with the move as they prepare for the regular season.

Sam, who signed in May with the Alouettes, was the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team when he was selected in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams last year. He was released by the Rams during the preseason and later picked up and let go by the Dallas Cowboys.

The 25-year-old Sam encountered difficulty in the NFL because at 6-foot-2, 260 pounds, he did not exactly fit the prototype of a defensive end or an outside linebacker.

Sam was co-defensive player of the year in the Southeastern Conference while at Missouri.


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