Bills suffer another blow, as Marcell Dareus faces suspension

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Frank Schwab
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The Buffalo Bills probably can’t wait until this offseason is over.

Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, Buffalo’s best defensive player, is facing a four-game suspension. It’s for repeated violations of the substance-abuse policy, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

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Marcell Dareus could miss games vs. the Ravens, Jets, Cardinals and Patriots. (AP)
Marcell Dareus could miss games vs. the Ravens, Jets, Cardinals and Patriots. (AP)

That’s another hit to a defense that has already dealt with bad news. First-round pick and pass rusher Shaq Lawson will miss the start of the season, and perhaps a significant portion of the season, after shoulder surgery. Second-round pick Reggie Ragland, expected to start at inside linebacker, will likely miss the year with a torn ACL.

And now Dareus is likely going to miss a quarter of the season, pending appeal.

The Bills’ statement on Tuesday afternoon sounded like a disappointed parent:

“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 had a statement on Instagram in which he said, in part, he apologized to the Bills and the fans.

“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,” Dareus wrote.

Dareus is one of the league’s best interior defenders, and last year signed a six-year deal worth a little more than $96.5 million, with $60 million guaranteed, according to Spotrac. Dareus, the third pick of the 2011 draft after Cam Newton and Von Miller, has made two Pro Bowls and was selected first-team All-Pro once.

His talent is undeniable, but he has been in trouble off the field before. Dareus was arrested in May of 2014 and charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. That led to a one-game NFL suspension, which he served Week 1 of last season. The Bills were aware of that incident when they gave Dareus his massive contract last year.

Now Dareus has gotten in trouble again and faces a suspension. That is the last thing the Bills defense needed to hear this month.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!