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Marcell Dareus takes leave, expected back Sunday

By Tim Graham

Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus isn't at practice today. He was called away after the shooting death of his 19-year-old brother in suburban Birmingham, Ala.

Buffalo News columnist Jerry Sullivan writes at the "Sully on Sports" blog that Dareus is expected to play in Sunday's home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Bills coach Chan Gailey suggested Dareus understands he has an obligation to be back in time for the game.

"I think he understands responsibility everywhere," Gailey said. "You can't be everywhere all the time. So we didn't try to pressure him into anything. I think he understands responsibility, which is good. All of our condolences do go out to him and the family. He's got a lot on his plate, to say the least."

I asked Bills safety and captain George Wilson what the Bills can do for Dareus this week.

"With what he's got going on, the best thing we can probably do is just pray for him and his family," Wilson said. "There's no good time to handle a situation like this. With Marcell having to deal with this, all we can do is keep him uplifted with our thoughts and prayers and just hope that he can be able to get back to us.

"He needs some time to be able to gather himself, to be able to come back to us and be himself. He needs his time with his family. This is a severe loss."

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |