Linebacker returns from suspension

Updated: October 2, 2003, 10:50 AM ET
ESPN

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Linebacker Torrance Marshall looked out of place.

In his first practice with the Green Bay Packers since returning from his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy, Marshall wore yellow shorts on the coldest day of the year while his teammates wore green sweat pants.

"I didn't think it was that cold out there. It surprised me," Marshall said Wednesday as he warmed up in the locker room following his first practice with the team since Aug. 27.

After the practice -- in which snowflakes actually fell -- Marshall addressed his teammates as they gathered for coach Mike Sherman's standard post-practice speech.

"I just thanked everybody for welcoming me back, apologized for missing the four games and told them I hoped I could contribute right away and help the team," Marshall said.

The league, which doesn't reveal the nature of drug policy violations, announced Marshall's suspension in July.

Marshall, a third-round draft choice from Oklahoma in 2001, went into drug rehab last summer at Sherman's urging and spent his monthlong suspension at a clinic in Pittsburgh where he received counseling and stayed in shape with three-hour daily workouts.

"He's done everything he could possibly do to hopefully rectify the situation," Sherman said. "Hopefully that responsibility that he's demonstrated can just carry forth."

If Marshall is to play Sunday against Seattle, Sherman must release a player from his 53-man roster by Saturday. Otherwise, he'll have to make a move Monday.

Marshall said he's not rusty. Instead, he said he's refreshed from no contact in September. His weight is down to 255 and he's eager to prove he can step right in and resume his career without delay.

"I don't think there's going to be an adjustment period," he said. "It's just a matter of getting on the field. I'm in good shape. Better shape than when I left, stronger. So, I'll be ready."

Marshall said he has a newfound appreciation for football, too.

"Four weeks is a long time to not be doing something you love to do and I was just happy to be out there mingling with the guys, joking around," he said. "You miss just the little things like locker room and just hanging out with the guys. So, I had fun today."

Even though he was shivering.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index