DAVIE, Fla. -- One of the feel-good stories of Week 1 in the NFL took an unexpected turn during the week. Miami Dolphins undrafted rookie Chris McCain, who blocked a punt and recorded a sack on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, got ill soon after as the rest of the team prepared for Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills.
However, McCain returned to the team Thursday in good spirits and participated in his first practice of the week.
"I feel good to be back here and be able to come back at practice," McCain said. "I feel good and preparing for Buffalo this week. It was bad enough to where it held me out of practice. But I'm thankful it didn't hold me out all week. It wasn't too bad, a couple days."
McCain expects to play despite missing practice Tuesday and Wednesday.
"I still need a little bit extra preparation, but I think I'll be ready for Sunday when that time comes," he said.
McCain has an interesting backstory. He was a long shot to make the Dolphins after numerous red flags that included getting kicked out of college at the University of California. In addition, McCain went undrafted with a long road to earn a spot on the 53-man roster. He also had to stay focused and out of trouble with the Dolphins.
But McCain did all the right things since joining the team and let his natural athleticism shine. He was a standout in training camp and during the preseason, which set the table for his Week 1 showing against the Patriots.
The Dolphins are thin at linebacker with Dannell Ellerbe (hip) on season-ending injured reserve and the statuses of Koa Misi (ankle) and Philip Wheeler (thumb) up in the air. They could need a backup linebacker like McCain to step up for the second week in a row against Buffalo's talented backfield led by C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson.
"They're very dangerous," McCain said. "C.J. is a very speedy guy, very shifty. Fred is also good. We just have to be ready for the quickness. I believe with our front guys and our second-level guys we'll be able to hold on to whatever we come up against."