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Buffalo Bills' Marcell Dareus issues statement after returning to training camp

Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus issued a statement after returning to training camp amid what has been a troublesome offseason for him.

"After dealing with a personal matter in Alabama, I am excited to return to training camp to rejoin my teammates in our preparations for the 2014 season.

"Right now, my focus is on earning the trust of my teammates, coaches and the fans while continuing to improve as a football player. I have a passion for this game and I want to be here to help this organization achieve its goals. There are things I need to work on professionally and personally to make sure I can be accountable to myself, my family, this team and this community.

"My focus will remain on achieving that goal one day at a time. I want to thank the Bills organization, coach Marrone and the coaching staff, my teammates and our fans for their continued support."

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Dareus had agreed to enter an NFL substance abuse program on Monday in order to have felony drug charges in Alabama dismissed, according to his attorney. The charges are expected to be dismissed — and perhaps even expunged from his record — if he completes the program.

The 2011 first-round draft pick has flashed some brilliance on the football field at times but also has had run-ins with the team and the law in his time in the NFL.

After being arrested in Alabama and charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia in May, Dareus was charged with reckless endangerment and ticketed for several traffic violations (including drag racing) after he allegedly was racing Bills teammate Jerry Hughes when he crashed his car into a tree close to Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Dareus failed to accept a plea deal earlier this month, is next scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 9 and could be subject to serious NFL discipline in the form of a fine or suspension.

Dareus was placed on the active/non-football injury list after failing the team's conditioning test, but head coach Doug Marrone said he spoke with Dareus and expects him to pass the test once he's ready to take it again.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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