Marc Tyler back at USC practice

LOS ANGELES -- Suspended USC running back Marc Tyler returned to Trojans' practice for the first time Wednesday, just over a month after he was suspended by the university for comments made to TMZ.

Tyler, a senior, is still suspended for the season opener against Minnesota on Sept. 3, Trojans coach Lane Kiffin said, and he has not been reinstated to the team. But he'll continue to practice with the Trojans unless something changes.

"It's the next step in the process of Marc hopefully coming back," Kiffin said after Wednesday's practice, which Tyler left after roughly two hours to attend class. "This isn't a major step -- he's not cleared for the second game -- this was just something that we had in place as he goes through this process.

"There are a number of steps. The next step was to bring him out here, throw him out on service team for the most part ... and, you know, we'll see."

Tyler, 22, showed up on a video on TMZ.com in July, appearing intoxicated and joking that USC paid its players. Kiffin and athletic director Pat Haden announced his suspension shortly afterward, citing that video and his prior episodes with public intoxication, which included two alleged off-campus incidents with female students at the university.

At practice Wednesday, Tyler worked lightly with the second-team offense during team drills and spent the majority of his time working with the scout team emulating the Minnesota running backs. He'll continue to do so until he's reinstated, Kiffin said.

"This is still all up to Marc, and this has changed nothing regarding his playing status," Kiffin said. "We'll just mix him in there some in practice, especially with the service team. So he'll get beat up down there going against our No. 1 defense."

USC still has not named a starting running back for the Minnesota game. Four players -- junior Curtis McNeal, sophomore Dillon Baxter and freshmen D.J. Morgan and Amir Carlisle -- are competing for the spot.

Tyler was the Trojans' leading ball-carrier last season, rushing for 913 yards and nine touchdowns. He is the son of longtime NFL running back Wendell Tyler.

Pedro Moura covers USC for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.