ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Buffalo Bills star defensive tackle Marcell Dareus says he will enter a rehabilitation facility after violating the NFL's substance abuse policy for a second consecutive season.
Dareus said he took ''careful consideration'' before announcing his plans in a statement released by the Bills on Saturday, about an hour before Buffalo hosted the New York Giants in a preseason game.
''I feel this is the best decision for me, my family and my teammates as I move forward with my career,'' Dareus said. ''I appreciate the support of my teammates and the Bills organization through this process.''
General manager Doug Whaley said the team supported Dareus' decision, but he provided few other details. Whaley said Dareus was still with the team but would not play against the Giants. He didn't know when Dareus would check into a rehab facility or how long the process would take.
''He's family and we are being supportive of him in this step in his life,'' Whaley said. ''I told you guys we wouldn't give up on him. And we wholeheartedly support this effort.''
Dareus' decision to enter rehab comes four days after the NFL suspended the Bills' top-paid player for the first four games of the season. Last year, he was suspended for the season opener for another violation of the policy.
Dareus said his latest suspension was the result of a missed drug test.
He is a two-time Pro Bowl selection and has been a starter since Buffalo drafted him with the No. 3 pick in 2011.
Last year, he arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia after being stopped by Alabama State Police in May 2014.
Dareus avoided trial, during which he would have faced felony drug charges, by agreeing to enter an NFL substance abuse program.
That wasn't his only run-in with the law.
In April 2015, he reached a plea agreement to have misdemeanor charges dropped for crashing his Jaguar into a tree near a busy suburban intersection the previous spring.
Dareus announced his decision the same day that the Bills released backup running back Karlos Williams, who also was suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
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