Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus has been suspended four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, the team announced.
“We are very disappointed Marcell chose to put himself first, before his teammates, coaches and the rest of the organization through his recent actions,” the Bills said in a statement. “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 was previously disciplined by the NFL after his arrest for possession of a controlled substance, and served a a one-game suspension to start the 2015 season.
He apologized to the team and fans in an Instagram post on Tuesday.
“With deepest regrets I want to apologize to the Buffalo Bills organization, my fans, my family and the entire NFL football community for the incident that led to me missing 4 games for the upcoming 2016-2017 season,” Dareus wrote. “I will not make excuses 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 Bills organization and fans.
“This temporary setback will only fuel my desire and commitment to bring Buffalo championships and the Super Bowl. I ask at this time that you continue to believe in me and I will continue to invest all that I have to bring honor and respect to the organization and my fans and ultimately bring Buffalo mafia what it deserves — a Super Bowl! Thank you for continuing to support me — I will rise above this setback, as with every challenge brings an opportunity for growth and supreme success!”
The 26-year-old was named a first-team All-Pro in 2014 and has gone to two Pro Bowls since Buffalo took him with the No. 3 pick in the 2011 NFL draft. He will miss games against the Ravens, Jets, Cardinals and Patriots and will be eligible to return Oct. 3.
He is the second prominent Bills player to violate the substance abuse policy this season. Running back Karlos Williams has already been issued a four-game suspension to start the season.