Alan Branch misses game after arrest

Updated: August 24, 2014, 1:11 AM ET
By Mike Rodak | ESPN.com

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Alan Branch was excused from Saturday's 27-14 preseason loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after being arrested for drunken driving in western New York.

State police say Branch was arrested at about 2 a.m. Saturday in the town of Cheektowaga after officers noticed Branch vomiting out the driver's side door of his vehicle.

Police say Branch failed a field sobriety test and had a blood-alcohol content of .14 percent. The legal limit is .08 percent. He was charged with driving while intoxicated and released. He's due back in court on Aug. 29. 

[+] EnlargeAlan Branch
AP Photo/Mike McCarnAlan Branch missed the Bills' preseason game against the Buccaneers on Saturday after being arrested. He received a three-year extension last December.

After Saturday's preseason game, Bills coach Doug Marrone declined to provide specifics of where Branch was arrested or any possible charges.

"I found out somewhere around noon-time, mid-day [Saturday]," Marrone said. "I just had so much on my mind. I tried calling him, couldn't get a hold of him, so I got a hold of him some other way -- through other people -- and just said, 'Hey, I'm meeting with you tomorrow.' But that's all I know for a fact." 

Several players in the locker room following the game said they did not know about Branch's arrest, while one player said the team termed it a "family emergency" and not an arrest. Marrone said Branch participated in the Bills' walk-through practice Friday at St. John Fisher College.

Branch, 29, appeared to be battling for a roster spot despite receiving a three-year extension last December. After starting 13 games last season, Branch played sparingly in the first preseason games, entering in the fourth quarter alongside much less experienced players.

Branch said after last Saturday's preseason loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers that he was "pretty surprised" about his playing time.

"That's coach's decision. That has nothing to do with me. I just have to keep on practicing and doing what I can to go ahead and try to make the team, I guess," he said. 

After skipping the Bills' voluntary offseason program, Branch failed the team's conditioning test upon reporting to training camp.

Branch is the second Bills defensive tackle arrested this year. Pro Bowl tackle Marcell Dareus was arrested twice this offseason.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter

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