For the first time since they’ve been back at training camp, the Buffalo Bills had one of their best defensive players on the field and participating in practice. Following his clearance by the medical staff on Thursday, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was back in action for the Bills on Friday night.
Dareus may not have gotten the full amount of repetitions throughout the practice, but he did start out with the first-team defense as he attempted to get back into the swing of things. Following all the off-field issues, his teammates were just happy to have him back on the field.
“It's good,” defensive tackle Kyle Williams said after the practice. “With him to come back out here and to start working back and getting ready for the year is a big thing for us. So we're excited to have him and we're gonna work him back into it.”
Dareus had to wait until Thursday to pass his conditioning test, having been placed on the Active/Non-Football Injury list since Saturday. With a brief excursion down to Alabama for a court date (in which he was excused by head coach Doug Marrone), the defensive tackle did some work with trainers on Wednesday and then passed the running test on Thursday.
Marrone didn’t seem over the moon about Dareus’ return, but did say they were going to work him back into the mix.
“I take it day by day,” said the head coach. “I’m happy to have him back.”
Facing felony counts in Alabama and misdemeanor charges in Hamburg, New York, Dareus has had his share of troubles off the field. Now that the team is in training camp and he’s with his teammates and coaching staff for most of the time, at least one teammate believes this will quiet things down for a while.
“At this point in time, I think this will probably be the end of it I would think. He's back out here on the field, he passed his conditioning test, we're ready to go,” Williams said. “We'll see how everything pans out with all the off field stuff, I'm sure there will be a day for that. But, right now, the good thing about it is he's in pads, we're practicing and he's ready to go.”
Both Dareus and defensive tackle Alan Branch passed their conditioning tests on Thursday and were back on the field for practice Friday. The Bills get back on the field for another day of work on Saturday at 6 pm.