Former Alabama and current Buffalo Bills DT Marcell Dareus is entering rehab, according to a statement released by the team Saturday afternoon.
Dareus was suspended by the NFL for the first four games of 2016 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He also missed the first game of 2015 for a substance abuse violation.
“I feel this is the best decision for me, my family and my teammates as I move forward with my career,” Dareus said in the statement.
— Buffalo Bills PR (@BuffaloBillsPR) August 20, 2016
This year’s violation, Dareus’s second in his career, was the result of a missed drug test. NFL rules classify a missed test the same way as a failed test. After the suspension was initially announced, Dareus apologized for his actions.
“I really don’t have much to say; words don’t mean anything now, it’s all action,” Dareus said, according to The Sports Xchange. “That’s all I’m going to do. I’m going to come back and do the best I can. I’m just apologizing to my team, my family, my kids. I have a nice career and I want to thank God for that, and at the same time I apologize to (Bills owner) Terry (Pegula), and (head coach) Rex (Ryan), and everyone else. We’re family, they said they’re going to stand by me.”
Ryan said after the suspension was announced that he supported Dareus, but that the lineman needed to think of his teammates and make smarter decisions.
“I’m frustrated and disappointed, as is everybody in this organization, every teammate from top to bottom, and I’m sure our fans are feeling the same way,” Ryan said. “We all know the kind of player Marcell is, and he’s a good person, too, but he’s got to make better choices, better decisions, and understand that it affects the whole football team and not just himself.”
Dareus is entering his sixth season in the NFL. He signed a six-year, $96.5 million contract extension last year, including $60 million guaranteed. The Bills selected him with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.