Saturday's roundup: Bills' Dareus says he'll enter rehab
Orchard Park, N.Y. — 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.
Bell: 'I'm .. sorry'
Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell (Michigan State) is ready to serve his suspension and move on.
Bell spoke on Saturday, one day after the NFL suspended the running back for the first three games of the regular season for missing multiple drug tests, which is a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.
“I already apologized to my teammates, my coaches and Steeler Nation,” Bell said. “I’m sincerely sorry about everything I put everybody through. It’s been frustrating and I own up to everything. It’s all my fault and I can’t blame nobody else for that.”
Bell stood by a now-deleted post to his Instagram account he put up on Friday, offering an apology shortly after the suspension was announced. He initially faced a four-game suspension, but it was reduced to three games following an appeal to the league.
Bell will be eligible to return to the active roster Sept. 26 before the team’s Week 4 home game against Kansas City.
“I’m glad they shaved a little bit of time off,” Bell said. “The sooner I can get on the field, the better.”
This is the second time Bell has faced discipline from the league. He sat out the first two games of the 2015 season as punishment for his arrest in August 2014 on DUI and marijuana possession charges following a traffic stop. Bell was originally suspended three games before it was reduced on appeal.
Chargers lose two linemen
The Chargers will lose two linemen for the rest of season due to injuries sustained in 19-3 exhibition win Friday over the Arizona Cardinals at Qualcomm Stadium. Veteran tight end Jeff Cumberland suffered a torn Achilles tendon in the second quarter and guard Donavon Clark, a seventh-round pick from Michigan State, tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the third quarter. Coach Mike McCoy confirmed their diagnoses during an afternoon news conference.
Saturday's exhibition games
(At) Buffalo 21, N.Y. Giants 0: Tyrod Taylor zipped a 13-yard touchdown pass over the middle to LeSean McCoy to cap his fourth and final series. Backup EJ Manuel then secured the win by leading two touchdown drives for the Bills (1-1). Rookie running back Jonathan Williams scored on a 1-yard plunge and Manuel completed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Greg Little. For New York (0-2), quarterback Eli Manning (4-for-9, 44 yards) and receiver Odell Beckham Jr.’s preseason debut failed to provide the Giants any boost, a week following a 27-10 loss to Miami.
Carolina 26, (at) Tennessee 16: Cam Newton threw for 162 yards and led scoring drives on two of his four series for the Panthers (1-1) in a game delayed about 30 minutes because of lightning late in the third quarter. Newton went 8 of 12 before leaving midway through the second quarter. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota directed three series and went 9 of 10 for 104 yards with one touchdown and an interception. On his final pass, Mariota rolled right and found Harry Douglas in the right corner of the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown for the Titans (1-1). Mariota is 14 of 15 through two exhibition games.
Baltimore 19, (at) Indianapolis 18: In his first start since early November, Andrew Luck completed all eight of his passes, led the Colts (1-1) on two long drives and avoided taking any hits in a loss to the Ravens (2-0). He opened the game by leading the Colts on a 61-yard drive that set up Adam Vinatieri for a short field goal. The final numbers: 8 of 8, 69 yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions, no sacks and two slides. Joe Flacco, Baltimore’s starting quarterback, did not play. Ryan Mallett and Josh Johnson each threw TD passes and No. 4 quarterback Jerrod Johnson led Baltimore on a late drive for a field goal.
Tampa Bay 27, (at) Jacksonville 21: Blake Bortles threw two touchdowns passes in three drives and gave the Jaguars (0-2) an early lead against the Buccaneers (1-1), who rallied to win. Bortles connected with T.J. Yeldon for a 14-yard score in the first quarter and then lofted a 24-yarder to Allen Hurns in the back of the end zone in the second. Bortles completed 8 of 11 passes for 85 yards, with no sacks and few mistakes. Jameis Winston (3-of-10, 28 yards, 1 INT) had a slow start, misfiring on his first six passes, but rebounded against Jacksonville’s second-team defense and found Mike Evans on a fade route for a 4-yard score.
(At) Houston 16, New Orleans 9: Brock Osweiler threw a touchdown pass and led the starting offense to three first-half scores for the Texans (2-0). Osweiler found rookie receiver Will Fuller for a 19-yard touchdown pass. Nick Fairley had an active game for New Orleans (0-2), keeping starting running back Lamar Miller in check for just 16 yards on six carries.
San Francisco 31, (at) Denver 24: Christian Ponder was 7-of-8 for 86 yards, including a 30-yard TD pass to Dres Anderson in the third quarter, for the 49ers (1-1). He also ran 22 yards for a score. Safety Eric Reid intercepted a Paxton Lynch pass and returned it 42 yards for another San Francisco TD in the second quarter. Broncos QB Mark Sanchez finished 10-of-17 for 120 yards while backup Lynch was 15-of-26 for 113 yards, which included an eight-yard TD pass to John Phillips and a four-yard scoring strike to Durron Neal. C.J. Anderson's 19-yard run in first quarter opened the scoring for the Broncos (1-1).
(At) Los Angeles 21, Kansas City 20: Todd Gurley rushed for 20 yards on four carries and scored on a 3-yard run in his preseason debut for the Rams. With the Chiefs (0-2) holding out four defensive starters, including safety Eric Berry and linebacker Josh Mauga, the starting offensive line played four series and allowed Rams running backs Gurley, Benny Cunningham and Malcolm Brown to rush for 85 yards on 15 carries. Case Keenum started at quarterback and led the Rams (2-0) to two touchdowns, going 4 of 5 for 53 yards with an 11-yard scoring pass to Pharoh Cooper before giving way to rookie Jared Goff. Alex Smith was 9 of 12 for 137 yards and one touchdown, leading the Chiefs to 17 points on four possessions.