Bills head coach Rex Ryan told reporters it “looks like there’s a chance” defensive tackle Marcell Dareus makes his season debut on Sunday against the Patriots, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Dareus has yet to play in 2016 due to a four-game suspension and hamstring issues.
In August, Dareus was handed his second suspension in as many years, though his ban in 2015 only lasted one game. After the league handed him his latest ban, the 26-year-old claimed it was the result of a missed drug test. Dareus also declared he’d check into rehab. Neither of those statements proved true, however, as later reports indicated that Dareus did not miss a test — he instead violated the league’s drug program multiple times dating back to his one-game suspension last year. And, in lieu of rehab, Dareus received treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Dareus, would immediately upgrade a Buffalo defense that currently ranks 16th in DVOA, per Football Outsiders. An All Pro in 2014 and a two-time Pro Bowler, Dareus will take snaps from incumbent nose tackle Corbin Bryant, who’s been filling in while Dareus has been sidelined. Though 3-4 nose guards don’t typically rack up impressive statistics, Dareus has averaged six sacks per season over his five-year career, and is also an impressive run defender.
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