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McCargo returns to Bills after failed trade

John McCargo was back with the Buffalo Bills on Thursday, and the defensive tackle was not exactly in a happy place.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- John McCargo was back with the Buffalo Bills on Thursday, and the defensive tackle was not exactly in a happy place.

Rather than getting a fresh start to his career with the Colts, McCargo was in the last place he imagined he'd be: Back with the team that dealt him to Indianapolis a day after the trade was voided because he failed his physical.

"I don't think anything I say is going to lead to anything positive," said McCargo, who had consulted with the team's director of media relations, Chris Jenkins, before addressing reporters at his locker. "I talked to Chris and he told me to tell you all that, right now, I've got nothing to say about it. Take it how it is. I don't know. Maybe one day I will."

Jenkins then informed reporters that McCargo had nothing else to say.

It was clearly an unhappy return, leaving the Bills in a pickle with a potentially disgruntled player who wasn't getting much playing time to begin with this season. McCargo, the second of Buffalo's two 2006 draft picks, was inactive for the team's season-opener and appeared sparingly in the Bills' previous four games.

Coach Dick Jauron had a far different reaction to McCargo's return with the Bills (4-1) coming out of their bye week and preparing to host San Diego (3-3) on Sunday.

"We're glad to have him back," said Jauron, who spoke before McCargo. "John's happy, I think. And we're happy, so here we go."

Jauron said he didn't feel there was anything awkward about getting back a player the team had deemed expendable and worth only a mid-to-late round draft pick in the aborted deal this week.

"I don't think so. We left on good terms, certainly," Jauron said. "And as I said to you yesterday, we thought (the trade) was in everybody's best interest. It didn't work out. He's back with us. We have absolutely no problems with the guy. And hopefully, he'll just play better and better."

According to numerous reports, McCargo failed his physical in Indianapolis because of a bulging disc in his back.

Jauron said McCargo was cleared by the Bills before the trade, though he noted that each NFL team has a different set of standards when it comes to physicals.

McCargo had been listed on the Bills' injury report only once this season, in Week 2, because of a back injury. But he made his season debut, registering his only two tackles of the year, in a 20-16 win at Jacksonville that following Sunday.

McCargo's agent, Hadley Engelhard, did not respond to numerous phone messages left by The Associated Press.

Colts coach Tony Dungy said he didn't know the reason McCargo failed the physical, only that he was informed of the news by team president Bill Polian.

Without McCargo, the Colts (3-2) are left in a bind as they prepare to play at Green Bay (3-3) this weekend.

Indianapolis had already waived defensive tackle LaJuan Ramsey, and Dungy said Wednesday the team was looking for an upgrade at defensive tackle. Indy has already allowed four running backs to top 100 yards this season and ranks 29th in the league against the run.

McCargo was elated when he arrived at the Colts' facility on Wednesday.

"I think it's a great situation. I think I needed a change," McCargo said before learning he had failed his physical. "I think it's a better situation than what I was in."

McCargo proved expendable in Buffalo after two-plus underachieving seasons, and after the team bolstered its depth at defensive tackle this offseason by acquiring three-time Pro Bowl selection Marcus Stroud in a trade with Jacksonville and signing free agent Spencer Johnson. The moves dropped McCargo to fourth on the team's depth chart, behind Stroud, Johnson and starter Kyle Williams.

Though McCargo practiced Thursday and got his old locker and No. 97 uniform back, it's not clear if he'll play this weekend.

Defensive end and co-defensive captain Chris Kelsay understood how difficult this turn of events has been for McCargo.

"It would be hard for him to look favorably on it, being traded and winding back up here. So I'm sure it's hard for him," Kelsay said. "As a teammate, we have to encourage him, make sure he's working hard and staying focused because ultimately, if you do that, things will take care themselves, whether it's here or somewhere else."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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