The Falcons waived linebacker Robert James on Tuesday.
FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons linebacker Robert James reported back to the team at 9:30 a.m. on Monday.
He missed the first four games of the season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.
“What it was, I went to a doctor back in Phoenix,” James told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “They drew my blood and said my testosterone level was low. They give me a shot to boost it back up. I was told it was a natural substance and that it wasn’t going to hinder anything or violate any rules.”
But the shot did have something in it to violate the policy?
“Yes, yes,” James said.
James, 26, spent his suspension back home in Phoenix. He returned to Atlanta on Sunday night. The team said they had a roster exemption and would make a decision on James by the end of the week.
“I’m happy to be back in the building and getting back into the swing of things,” James said. “It was hard not being able to be here with my teammates. It was something that I had to do. I had to go back home and get my body back in shape and be ready to come back.”
The team has not told him if he has a role on the team. Before the suspension he had a shot at landing a roster spot as a backup linebacker and special teams player.
“I was just told to be back in the building today at 9:30 and I’m here,” James said when asked if he was told of his role.
James was picked in the fifth round (138th overall) of the 2008 draft out of Arizona State. He missed his rookie season after suffering a concussion.
He spent the majority of 2009 on the practice squad before being promoted to the 53-man roster on Dec. 29, 2009.
“It’s been difficult after practicing all of the camp with them and going through OTAs and everything to where you couldn’t even be in the building,” James said. “It was kind of hard.”
James has exceptional speed and striking ability. With Jason Snelling taking on a more prominent role in the offense, the special teams unit needs another top flight coverage man.
“I’m willing to do whatever they need me to do,” James said. “I will contribute in any why that I can.”