Bills DT Marcell Dareus suspended four games by NFL

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills’ offseason just keeps getting worse by the week. A week after losing rookie linebacker Reggie Ragland to a torn ACL, the Bills will be without stud defensive tackle Marcell Dareus for a quarter of the season.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported that Dareus is facing a four-game ban for a repeat violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy.

After the suspension was officially announced, the Bills issued this statement via the team’s official website.

Dareus also apologized to fans, the Bills, his family and the NFL in a post on Instagram.

Dareus signed a six-year, $108 million contract with the Bills last September, locking up the two-time Pro Bowler for the foreseeable future. This suspension couldn’t have come at worse time given the recent rash of injuries and problems the Bills have dealt with.

With deepest regrets I want to apologize to the @BuffaloBills 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. I will not #makeexcuses 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 #Billsorganization and fans. This temporary setback will only fuel my desire and commitment to bring #Buffalochampionships and the #SuperBowl. 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 #Buffalomafia what it deserves – a #SuperBowl! 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!

A photo posted by Marcell Dareus (@cell57to99) on

In addition to Ragland, the Bills lost IK Enemkpali for the year with a torn ACL. Shaq Lawson, the team’s first-round pick, isn’t expected back until at least October after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. The Bills are quickly running out of defenders for the start of the season, which could prove to be an issue.

Dareus was suspended for the first game of last season for violating the substance-abuse policy after he was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. He’ll likely appeal this latest ban, which he still has the power to do.