The hits just keep in coming for the Buffalo Bills defense. They've already lost Reggie Ragland and IK Enemkpali for the season to torn ACLs and Shaq Lawson for an indeterminate amount of time to shoulder surgery, as well as Karlos Williams to a four-game suspension. And now Buffalo may be without star defensive tackle Marcell Dareus for the first first games of the season as well.
Dareus is facing a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy, according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter:
Bills DT Marcel Dareus is facing a four-game suspension for another violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy, league sources tell ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 16, 2016
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the suspension is marijuana-related.
#Bills DL Marcell Dareus' looming suspension stems from marijuana, I'm told -- failed or misses drug tests. News came within the last 2 hrs— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 16, 2016
Dareus was previously suspended for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He sat out the first game of the 2015 season after he was arrested in Alabama on charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia in May of 2014.
The Bills released a statement in response to the suspension on their official web site. It reads as follows:
We are very disappointed Marcell chose to put himself first, before his teammates, coaches and the rest of the organization through his recent actions. From ownership down we have made it clear his behavior is unacceptable. We will continue to take the necessary steps to work with him in order that he adheres to the policies set forth by our league. As an organization, we will move forward with our preparations for the start of the 2016 NFL season in Baltimore on September 11.
Dareus, for his part, posted a statement to his Instagram account:
With deepest regrets I want to apologize to the @BuffaloBills organization, my fans, my family and the entire NFL football community for the incident that led to me missing 4 games for the upcoming 2016-2017 season. I will not #makeexcuses for the events in question and will allow the process to proceed as is required by the @NFL; however, please know and understand I am committed to the game and am more committed to my #Billsorganization and fans. This temporary setback will only fuel my desire and commitment to bring #Buffalochampionships and the #SuperBowl. I ask at this time that you continue to #believe in me and I will continue to invest all that I have to bring honor and respect to the organization and my fans and ultimately bring #Buffalomafia what it deserves - a #SuperBowl! Thank you for continuing to support me - I will rise above this setback, as with every challenge brings an opportunity for growth and supreme #success!