It’s tough enough competing in the NFL when your star players are on the field, so when one of them is selfish enough to get popped again and again under the substance-abuse policy, it’s understandable when the need to vent arises.
And the Buffalo Bills did exactly that on Tuesday when news broke that their high-priced defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is going to be out for the first month of the season because he can’t stop smoking marijuana.
An NFL source confirmed to TodaysPigskin.com that Dareus’ issues are with weed, although it’s unclear whether he actually failed a drug test or simply missed a series of them, similar to Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell.
Either way, I write about this issue far too much and have explained in the past that those making excuses for players like Dareus, who are serial offenders and incredibly selfish to their teammates and coaches, as well as other members of the organization, are simply enabling people who deserve little empathy.
Unless, of course, they are addicted; and that’s a point marijuana advocates refuse to make because one of their major talking points remains the fact that the drug is not addictive. This, despite the fact a lot of players in this league can’t stop smoking it for a short period to make quite a bit of money. That, to me, is a pretty good definition of the word.
Instead, it becomes a moral argument in that the big, bad NFL is forcing its players to take addictive opioids instead of the wonder drug of the 21st century that alleviates all pain.
And if the sarcasm from that last statement isn’t dripping off the page, you’ve already probably smoked more than your fair share of weed today.
Already stunned by injuries to their two top draft picks, Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland, along with a season-ending ACL tear for IK Enenkpali, who was recently waived/injured. Buffalo is also dealing with the pending one-game personal-conduct suspension in the pipeline for Manny Lawson, as well as the SA suspension of running back Karlos Williams.
So, perhaps Rex Ryan and the Bills weren’t in the mood to blame anybody other than the guy responsible for the latest mess, 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,” the Bills said in a statement while confirming the suspension. “From ownership down we have made it clear his behavior is unacceptable.”
This, of course, is the second season in a row the Bills have had to start things without Dareus, a two-time Pro Bowl selection who the league suspended for the first game of the 2015 season after being arrested for possession of a controlled substance.
“We will continue to take the necessary steps to work with (Dareus) in order that he adheres to the policies set forth by our league,” the Bills said.
Dareus did at least offer up an apology on his Instagram account, shortly after the news broke.
As for Ryan, though, he really has no other option than to persevere, call for the next man up and hope it doesn’t happen again.
That and perhaps update his resume.
-John McMullen is a national football columnist for FanRagSports.com and TodaysPigskin.com. You can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter @JFMcMullen — Also catch John each week during the NFL season ESPN South Jersey, ESPN Southwest Florida, ESPN Lexington, KDWN in Las Vegas, and check @JFMcMullen for John’s upcoming appearances on SBNation Radio, FOX Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio as well as dozens of local radio stations across North America.