PITTSFORD, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley’s patience is growing thin after starting defensive tackle Marcell Dareus experienced his latest offseason setback by failing a pre-training camp conditioning test.
“It’s cause for concern,” Whaley told The Associated Press after the Bills held their first practice — minus Dareus — in suburban Rochester on Sunday night.
“You always are disappointed when one of your guys isn’t ready. But we think he’s not far off. So hopefully sooner than later.”
Whaley then expressed confidence in Dareus, whose string of troubles include drug possession and reckless driving charges in two separate arrests in May.
“His mindset’s better once he’s here,” Whaley said, referring to the practice field. “And I think we’ll find out with his actions. And I think he’s ready to disprove all this stuff that he’s a bad seed.”
The Bills placed Dareus on the active/non-football injury list on Saturday because the 2011 first-round draft pick did not report to camp in shape, coach Doug Marrone announced shortly before the start of practice Sunday.
Marrone declined to say whether he was disappointed in Dareus’ latest setback.
“I just think right now he just needs to focus on getting himself ready, getting on the field, and focusing on football,” Marrone said. “And I think that’s what he’ll be ready to do.”
Dareus was not present for practice and has not been spotted at the team’s training camp facility since players began reporting on Friday.
Under the observation of trainers, he must now work himself back into shape, and then pass the tests to be cleared for practice.