Michael Sam has returned to the Montreal Alouettes two weeks after leaving the team for what he said were "personal reasons." Sam left Montreal June 12, the day before the Alouettes' first Canadian Football League preseason game, and allegedly boarded a plane headed for Dallas. At the time, speculation was rampant about whether Sam was leaving the team for good or if he would return.
As for Sam, he was in Montreal on Wednesday with injured linebacker Kyries Hebert and has a locker at Olympic Stadium. He's expected at team meetings this Sunday and at practice the following day.
Earlier this week Alouettes general manager Jim Popp offered The Guardian his perspective on why Sam left the team:
"I think he needed a break," Popp said. "That's my personal belief. I think it was just overwhelming to some degree, and he needs to clear his mind, clear his head. Do I think he wants to play? Do I think he wants to be on the field? Do I think he wants to be Michael Sam the football player? I, 100%, believe that. Yes."
The Alouettes lost their season opener against the Ottawa Redblacks Thursday night, 20-16. The game was to be Sam's first regular-season action in profession football. Without Sam the Alouettes sacked the quarterback only once but forced five turnovers.
The team's next game is a home matchup June 3 against the Calgary Stampeders. Sam could see his first CFL regular-season action then.