HAMBURG, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills defensive lineman Marcell Dareus, who was arrested for street racing in Hamburg, has the support of his head coach.
Dareus pleaded not guilty to reckless driving and endangerment charges on Monday.
Police in Hamburg said days earlier, he crashed into a tree while racing another driver.
According to police, Dareus was headed westbound down Milestrip Road in a white Jaguar when his car left the road, crossed a parking lot and struck a tree just before the entrance to the Mongolian Grill.
According to The Buffalo News, the driver of the second car was Bills defensive lineman Jerry Hughes.
The 24-year-old Dareus, coming off a season where he was named as a Pro Bowl replacement, wasn't at practice Tuesday. Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone called that mutual decision and not disciplinary.
"Is he on the team, or not on the team? Yeah, I think he's on the team, because we have a responsibility to try and help him to a point where, every case is different, but I've always been that way," Marrone said.
This is Dareus' second recent run-in with police. He was arrested on felony drug charges in his home state of Alabama in May.
Marrone said despite it all, Dareus will be ready to go when he returns, and he believes the talented lineman has made improvements with "personal issues" he's been dealing with. Marrone also said that any time a player makes a poor decision, he wonders where he made a mistake.
Employees at the Mongolian Grill said Tuesday it's a miracle no one was hurt. There's still a small debris field around the tree that was struck, with torn up pavement and tire tracks about an inch thick etched into the concrete.