Marcell Dareus‘ standing with the new Bills regime took a hit Saturday night when the team sent the cornerstone defensive tackle home from its preseason game against the Ravens for violating a team rule. The nature of the violation isn’t known, but first-year GM Brandon Beane addressed the matter pregame.
“A guy with his contract status, you’d hope he’d be a better leader than that,” Beane said, via CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora (on Twitter).
A quadriceps injury has slowed the seventh-year defensive tackle in practice, so it’s uncertain he would have played anyway. Nevertheless, this is another run-in with authority for Dareus, who hasn’t been eligible to play in a Week 1 game since 2014. He was suspended for four games last season and one in 2015, and as Mike Rodak of ESPN.com points out, benched in multiple games under Doug Marrone in 2013 because he showed up late to meetings.
Here’s the latest out of Buffalo and some other AFC cities as the league’s most relevant preseason week continues.
- Shortly after the Bills sent Dareus home, they lost their quarterback to a concussion. Tyrod Taylor left the game because of a head injury, the team announced. He is in the concussion protocol. A third-down sack led to Taylor’s removal from the game. Nathan Peterman replaced the starter.
- One key facet of Blake Bortles‘ game got him the nod to make a third straight Week 1 Jaguars start over Chad Henne. Marrone pointed to Bortles’ scrambling ability as the key, Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union notes. Bortles has rushed for 1,088 yards in his three-year career, and the Jags face the Texans and Ravens during the first two weeks of the season. O’Halloran writes this decision doesn’t change the Jags’ 2018 draft strategy, when another quarterback figures to be in play (barring an unexpected Bortles bounce-back effort).
- The Patriots cut Kony Ealy a week early in order to help the former Panthers defensive end catch on with his next team early, thus giving him a better shot to make an impact in 2017, Bill Belichick said. “I just think it’s one of those things that didn’t work out or wasn’t going to work out,” Belichick said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. “Nobody’s fault. He worked hard. We worked hard. A lot of effort put in, but in the end, we didn’t feel like this was going to work out. It gives him an opportunity about a week ahead of next week to hopefully create a better opportunity for himself.” Ealy will be placed on waivers.
- Saddled with a ravaged defensive end corps, the Broncos would make sense as an Ealy fit. But Troy Renck of Denver7 said the team doesn’t plan to pursue him (Twitter link). Denver is without Derek Wolfe and Jared Crick for the time being and saw recently re-signed defensive lineman Billy Winn tear an ACL in the Broncos’ first preseason game. UFA addition Zach Kerr also left the Broncos’ preseason game Saturday with a first-half knee injury. Ealy’s best game came against the Broncos, with the former second-round pick sacking Peyton Manning three times and intercepting him once in Super Bowl 50.