Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is facing a four-game suspension for another violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, league sources tell ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Dareus still could appeal his four-game ban, but if it sticks, it will be another big blow to the Bills’ D.
The suspension stems from Dareus’ alleged use of marijuana, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com hears (on Twitter). Today’s news could have lasting implications beyond the first four games of the season as it could void some of Dareus’ guaranteed money.
A defensive tackle under old head coach Doug Marrone, the Bills signed Dareus to an extension last year, locking him into the nose tackle spot in Rex Ryan‘s 3-4 scheme. Interior defensive linemen typically don’t post huge sack numbers, but Dareus did an impressive job getting after the quarterback in his first four seasons, recording 28.5 career sacks, including 10 in 2014, a total that matched teammate Jerry Hughes‘ output. Last year, that number declined as Dareus moved to nose tackle – he logged just 2.0 sacks. However, the Bills value his ability to stop the run at least as much as his ability to bring down the quarterback. Now, they’ll be without that run-stuffing power through the first month of the season.
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