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Marrone: Bills DT Dareus excused from camp

By JOHN WAWROW - AP Sports Writer
    2014-07-21 18:28

PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) - Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus can start refocusing on football - and getting in shape - now that he's set to return to the team's training camp facility in suburban Rochester.

Coach Doug Marrone revealed on Monday that Dareus was excused from camp to deal with personal matters in what became the latest twist in the player's troubled offseason. Marrone added that Dareus was scheduled to return to camp later in the day and is expected to be working out on the sideline during practice Tuesday morning.

Dareus reported to camp on Friday, but was placed on the active/non-football injury list after failing a conditioning test on Saturday. Dareus must pass the test before he can be cleared for practice.

Marrone didn't provide a timetable of how long it might take Dareus to be tested again, except to say ''when our weight coaches feel that he's ready.''

Dareus has already missed the first two days of practice.

The failed test was the latest setback for the 2011 first-round draft pick.

He faces drug possession charges in Alabama after being arrested in May. Four weeks later, Dareus was charged with reckless endangerment after crashing his 2012 Jaguar during an alleged car race outside Buffalo.

Midway through the Bills' 2-1/2 hour practice Monday, starting linebacker Brandon Spikes was escorted by trainers to the team's cooling-off tent after experiencing what Marrone described as cramps. Marrone didn't provide an update on Spikes' status.

The practice was held on a muggy afternoon with temperatures in the high 80s. As a precaution, Marrone took a 10-minute break during practice to allow players to cool off and hydrate.

The Bills avoided a scare when rookie first-round pick receiver Sammy Watkins was poked in the eye. He had to be helped off the field after making a leaping catch between three defenders. Watkins was treated on the sideline and returned for the next team drill.

Earlier in the day, the Bills shuffled their roster by signing defensive tackle Landon Cohen and receiver Naaman Roosevelt.

To make room, Buffalo released receiver Ramses Barden and linebacker Nathan Williams.

Cohen has five years of NFL experience, dividing last season between Dallas and Chicago. He was drafted by Detroit in the seventh round in 2008. Cohen reunites with former Lions coach Jim Schwartz, who is in his first season as Buffalo's defensive coordinator.

Roosevelt rejoins the Bills after spending the 2010 and 2011 seasons in Buffalo. He's a University at Buffalo product and split the past two seasons on the Lions and Cleveland Browns practice squads.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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