In a statement released through the Bills in August, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus said he “made the decision to enter a rehabilitation facility” after being suspended four games for a violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy.
Dareus has served the suspension and is back with the team this week, but told Jarrett Bell of USA Today that he didn’t do a stint in rehab while he was away from the team. Dareus did meet with a variety of professionals about the issues that have led to two suspensions in as many years and they believe that he needs to address his attention deficit hyperactive disorder in order to avoid further trouble.
The group included an ADHD specialist and a life coach that Dareus said has helped give his “life better structure.”
“I really feel like I learned a lot,” Dareus said. “I received help to support me. …It’s a living course of action that’s still ongoing.”
Dareus also spent time with Bills icon Bruce Smith, who focused on how much Dareus would be leaving on the table if he continues to allow off-field behavior to keep him from reaching his potential as a football player.
“We all have defining moments in our lives and careers,” Smith said. “Right now, he’s at a defining moment.”
The words sound good, but will ring hollow if Dareus doesn’t follow them up with the actions that show greater commitment to avoiding the problems that have interrupted a promising career. The path to showing that starts this week and the Bills will be better off if Dareus remains on it.