Buffalo Bills defensive lineman Marcell Dareus announced he will be entering a rehabilitation facility.
Dareus was seen leaving New Era Field Saturday afternoon in street clothes before the Bills squared off with the New York Giants in their second preseason contest, but no reason had been provided for his departure.
Dareus and the team released a joint statement Saturday.
“After careful consideration of recent events within my life, I have made the decision to enter a rehabilitation facility,” Dareus’ statement read. “I feel this is the best decision for me, my family and my teammates as I move forward with my career. I appreciate the support of my teammates and the Bills organization through this process.”
The team supports Dareus’ decision.
Dareus was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season earlier in the week for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. This was his second offense of the league’s substance abuse policy. There is no word as to when Dareus will enter rehab or if he will return to the team this season.
Dareus recorded 51 total tackles and two sacks during his fifth professional season. He inked a six-year, $108 million deal in September 2015 that included $60 million guaranteed and a $25 million signing bonus. His loss will leave a gaping hole in the middle of what was supposed to be a formidable front seven. He could be replaced by Jerel Worthy or Corbin Bryant. The Bills also have anchor Kyle Williams manning the trenches.
Dareus’ announcement is just the latest incident in what’s been a rough offseason and preseason for the Bills. First-round pick Shaq Lawson will miss at least half the season while recovering from shoulder surgery and second-round pick Reggie Ragland has already been lost for the year with a torn ACL.
The Bills were also reportedly set to release second-year tailback Karlos Williams on Saturday. Williams was also suspended four games for violation of the substance abuse policy.