The Bills have officially activated defensive tackle Marcell Dareus to the active roster in time for their Week 5 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. In a corresponding move, the team placed wide receiver Greg Salas on injured reserve.
Dareus, who is returning from a four-game suspension for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy, is on the injury report as questionable with a hamstring injury he suffered in practice today. The team had until Monday to activate him, so this move likely means that he’ll be ready to go against the Rams.
Salas is in his second season with the Bills, and was listed on the injury report this week as well. He was slated to miss his third straight game with a groin injury, suffered after the Week 2 loss to the New York Jets wherein he scored a memorable 71-yard touchdown in the second half. He is eligible to return to the team in eight weeks, but if the front office decides to activate Sammy Watkins instead, Salas’ season is over.
Dareus will slide in to a starting role on the defensive line ahead of Corbin Bryant, who has eight tackles on the year. Reserves Jerel Worthy and Leger Douzable haven’t put up much in the way of numbers this season, save for Douzable’s 1.5 sacks in the season-opening loss at Baltimore, so any production that Dareus can bring, even with a few weeks of rust to shake off and a bum hammy, will be a plus.
On the offensive side, the loss of Salas is offset by the addition of Justin Hunter, who is set to make his Bills debut on Sunday. Walt Powell will also likely continue to see some targets, especially if Hunter struggles, and it’s possible that Brandon Tate’s role could extend beyond the return game (he did have a carry on a reverse last weekend against the Patriots).
Mr. Big Stuff is officially back. Hopefully, his troubles are behind him.
Update: I wanted to provide some clarity on the timeline. The Bills had until Monday to activate Dareus, but he had to be activated by 4 PM on Saturday to be eligible to play Sunday. It’s no guarantee that he will play, but if he was certain to be out the Bills could have kept him inactive under the roster exemption. The same timeline applies to Seantrel Henderson; he can stay on the exempt list until Monday, but if he isn’t activated by tomorrow afternoon he can’t play against the Rams.