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Marcell Dareus says missed drug test led to suspension

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The Buffalo Bills have taken another hit.

Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus has been suspended four games for yet another violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy, the team confirmed via a statement.

Dareus told reporters Wednesday the suspension came as a result of a missed drug test. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that the ban stems from "either failed or missed drug tests involving his use of marijuana," adding that the Bills learned about the suspension just "two hours" before the public.

Dareus issued an apology to his Instagram account shortly before the Bills announced the suspension, stating he was committed to the team and that he will "rise above this setback."

The defensive lineman further addressed his suspension Wednesday.

"I really don't have nothing much to say. Words don't have meaning now, it's all action," said Dareus, who added he was informed of his looming suspension after Saturday's preseason game. "My team loves me to death. They know what kind of person I am. ... They have my back."

The Bills released a statement expressing disappointment in Dareus.

"We are very disappointed Marcell chose to put himself first, before his teammates, coaches and the rest of the organization through his recent actions. 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."

Bills general manager Doug Whaley reiterated the Bills' stance while speaking on WGR 550-AM in Buffalo on Wednesday: "He has to make better choices. ... We're going to stand by him, but he has to hold up his end of the bargain."

Dareus will be sidelined for games against the Ravens, Jets, Cardinals and Patriots before he is eligible to return in Week 5 against the Los Angeles Rams.

This latest setback marks the second league-imposed ban for the dominant interior lineman. Dareus served a one-game suspension to start last year's campaign, the upshot of a May 2015 arrest for felony possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

It's a major disappointment for the Bills, who last year handed Dareus a seven-year, $103.2 million deal with $60 million guaranteed.

Bills coach Rex Ryan has endured a brutal second training camp in Buffalo, with veteran defenders Manny Lawson and IK Enemkpali and rookies Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland all going down with injuries. Second-year running back Karlos Williams also faces a four-game ban to start the year for a failed drug test.

The shorthanded Bills can't mask the loss of Dareus, who accounted for just two sacks last season, but was incredibly disruptive in 2014 with 10.5 takedowns. The Bills have Corbin Bryant and T.J. Barnes listed behind him, but the Bills are a candidate to shuffle bodies around and potentially add veteran help.

The embattled Ryan now faces ones of the biggest tests of his NFL coaching career.

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