PITTSFORD – Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus has gotten himself into good enough shape to pass the team’s conditioning tests. Ditto for veteran defensive tackle Alan Branch.
Both have passed their physicals and been added to the active roster, the team announced Thursday evening. The move clears them to practice when the Bills hit the field at St. John Fisher College for a session at 6 this evening.
Dareus, 24, worked on the sidelines with team strength and conditioning coaches at Wednesday’s practice, a day after returning from a court session in Alabama. Branch, an eight-year veteran who the Bills are counting on to be a quality No. 3 defensive tackle behind both Dareus and Kyle Williams, also has been working on the sidelines with conditioning coaches since camp practices started on Sunday.
Dareus on Monday was accepted into a pre-trial program that could result in the dismissal of charges in Alabama of possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. He could face a suspension from the NFL as a result of that May arrest.
The Bills were off Thursday. The team practices tonight and Saturday night, but tickets for both of those sessions have all been distributed.
The team added undrafted center Jared Wheeler to the roster. Wheeler was claimed off waivers from the Carolina Panthers. The Bills waived cornerback Brandon Smith, who was injured.
Wheeler, a 6-foot-5, 315 pounder from the University of Miami, was signed by Carolina after the draft. He made six starts in 2013 and played in 38 games in his career. He was named the Hurricanes’ unsung hero for last season.