Marcell Dareus’ Suspension Latest Setback For Bills Defense
Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus has been suspended by the NFL for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, and will miss the first four games of the season. The suspension of Dareus is just the latest in a string of bad news the Bills have received since the start of training camp. The Bills, who had decent online NFL betting odds of making the playoffs, have to overcome a few obstacles this season in order to make the playoffs.
In an interview with reporters, Dareus said the suspension was because he missed a drug test, and an NFL insider said the ban comes from either a failed or missed drug test involving Dareus’ use of marijuana, and that the Bills only found out about the suspension two hours before it was made public.
Last season, Dareus was also suspended for one game before the season started because of a May 2015 arrest for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Dareus, who was given a seven-year, $103.2 million deal with $60 million guaranteed last year, issued an apology on his Instagram account, stating his commitment to the team. The defensive lineman also said he will rise above the setback.
In his statement, Dareus said he didn’t find out about the suspension until after Saturday’s preseason game, and that he didn’t have much else to say about the matter because actions mean more than words. He added that the team loved him and had his back.
The Bills issued a statement of their own regarding the suspension. In the statement, the team said they were disappointed in Dareus for putting himself before his teammates, coaches, and the organization because of his recent actions.
The Bills said their organization has made it clear that behavior like Dareus’ will not be tolerated. Despite the disappointment, the team said it would work with Dareus to make sure he follows the policies set by the league.
Doug Whaley, the team’s general manager, also reiterated what the team said in the statement during an appearance on a local radio show. Whaley said Dareus has to make better decisions. Whaley said the team would stick by Dareus, but he also has to hold up his end of the bargain.
Dareus is schedule to miss games against the Patriots, Ravens, Cardinals, and Jets before he is eligible to return in week 5 against the Los Angeles Rams.
Rex Ryan, who has one of the most talented defensive units in the league, will have to figure out a way to deal with the injuries and suspensions without losing too many games. He will likely have one or two players fill in for Dareus while he is serving his suspension, but it is unlikely that they will be able to give the coach the same type of production he gets from Dareus.
Before the start of training camp, the Bills were a dark horse to make the playoffs, but with Dareus’ suspension, injuries to Manny Lawson, IK Enemkpali, Shaq Lawson, and Reggie Ragland, the defense won’t be as good as head coach Rex Ryan had hoped it would be this year, unless other players step up and fill the void left by the injured and suspended players.