Posted August 19, 2013

Von Miller to be suspended ‘at least six games,’ per report

AFC West, Denver Broncos
The Broncos could be without Von Miller, their leader in sacks last season, for six games. (Jack Dempsey/AP)

The Broncos could be without Von Miller, their leader in sacks last season, for six games. (Jack Dempsey/AP)

The Denver Broncos may not know exactly when or for how long Von Miller could be suspended to start the 2013 season. That Miller will be punished by the league, though, appears all but inevitable at this point.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that Miller’s “suspension for violation of the league’s substance policy is expected to be at least six games”. That’s a minimum of two games longer than the anticipated punishment for Miller, who led the Broncos with 18.5 sacks last season. Mortensen’s colleague, Adam Schefter, added that Miller’s camp and the NFL are “still in discussions”, with Miller remaining hopeful of a four-game hit.

According to the NFL Network’s Albert Breer, a diluted sample flagged Miller suspension, but “the the case has complications that go far beyond that”. Per Breer’s report, the NFL considered trying to impose an eight- or even 16-game suspension — with the latter costing Miller the entire regular season — before opening talks with Miller on a shorter punishment.

The Denver Post reported last month that Miller’s suspension was not triggered by a failed drug test, and Breer’s latest seems to verify that. However, because Miller reportedly tested positive for marijuana in 2011, he could be viewed as a repeat offender if he did indeed provide a diluted sample to league testers. Perhaps adding to the problems is that Miller was recently arrested for failing to appear for a court date.

The Broncos open the NFL’s regular-season schedule with a Thursday night game against the defending champion Ravens. Their next five games, all of which it appears Miller will be absent for, are as follows: at New York Giants, Oakland, Philadelphia, at Dallas, Jacksonville. Denver then plays at Indianapolis in Week 7 and hosts Washington in Week 8.

The schedule still plays in the Broncos’ favor, with or without Miller, given that they start with four of six games at home — three (Oakland, Philadelphia and Jacksonville) against teams with a combined 10 wins last season.

Still, an extended absence for Miller, on top of the free-agent departure of Elvis Dumervil and a preseason injury to Derek Wolfe, would leave Denver extremely shorthanded in its front seven and, particularly, in the pass rush. Denver did add ex-Charger Shaun Phillips this offseason, and he should ease some of the worry in Miller’s stead, though that is a clear step down in ability.

The Broncos will enter the season as the team to beat in the AFC West, regardless of Miller’s situation. But this comes as disappointing news, especially since Miller maintained over the past few weeks that he expected to win the appeal of his suspension.

GALLERY: NFL suspensions, fines so far in 2013

37 comments
MinisterWilliamAaronBerryIII
MinisterWilliamAaronBerryIII

The Broncos will enter the season as the team to beat in the AFC West, regardless of Miller’s situation. But this comes as disappointing news, especially since Miller maintained over the past few weeks that he expected to win the appeal of his suspension. This going to effect the Broncos season greatly with Dummerville also missing from the team!

WilyCoyoteSuperGenius
WilyCoyoteSuperGenius

I think Vegas odds makers can remove the Broncos from atop the leader board in the Super Bowl sweepstakes. A defense that looked terrible Saturday is now going to be without its best player for at least six games. Chump Bailey is getting $10 million and he looks old and slower than last season - when he was clearly beaten much of the time. I'll bet Coach Fox is already missing Willis McGhee. 

Handing $100 million to an aging QB with a poor playoff and outdoor record is not the path to a title.

John18
John18

So GMen, Eagles and Dallas miss him, but he comes back for the Skins... Super

jbc123
jbc123

With the advent of universal testing, for every substance known to man,these guys who get caught should get a minimum of 8 games off, just for stupidity. Way to let you teammates down, nitwit.

PaulParsons
PaulParsons

The lack of intelligence in these comments is disheartening, First, its a substance abuse rap, so Biogenesis is not on the table... Second Its a substance abuse rap so its a lack of judgement issue, cheating doesn't enter into it, if it were considered cheating then it would be called a PED charge, not substance abuse. Learn to read people

WHO*IS*ESPN
WHO*IS*ESPN

So he claims innocence and now is discussing with the league.  Sure sounds innocent to me. ban his butt 6. NO compromise for cheaters.

Southpaw47
Southpaw47

"In the test that triggered the suspension, multiple sources say Miller was flagged for a "diluted sample." It happened after Miller was asked to provide a test before an offseason workout/practice and the sample was spilled, by Miller, before it was given to the collector. Miller was then asked at that time to provide another sample and he could not.

He then participated in the workout, drinking fluids throughout the activity. Miller then provided a sample that was used in the test following the workout."

From an article in a site that requires facebook to post

HarshRealities
HarshRealities

A first time drug offense gets you a 4 game suspension, this is more than weed. Both the NFL and Miller are being very quite about what is leading up to this suspension. It could be a combination of several infractions, both drugs and civil/criminal matters. MLB just suspended a bunch of players for their involvement with HGH from Biogenesis. Could Millers name be on the list of Biogenesis clients? This is more than just smoking weed.

OwG
OwG

Smokin the reefer

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

More cheaters. In every sport they keep digging up more cheaters. And NOTHING will change until they make punishments a strong enough deterrent. How about fining them TWICE the money that the game suspension would cost. Or three times. If Miller gets a six game suspension, fine him for 12. Or the entire season. Playing for free might slow things down. Maybe.

Jean
Jean

Smokin' Marygeewanna do not F UP yo brain.

Von Miller

espnrefugee0218
espnrefugee0218

at least no dead bodies were found a mile from his house

KevinDoucette
KevinDoucette

Has to be more than the weed that most people are saying was the culprit.

randomdeletion
randomdeletion

@MinisterWilliamAaronBerryIII Broncos are going to be in trouble to start the season missing their two best pass rushers in Dumerville and Miler. They need Miller on the field.  He won't be at full speed, either, when he does get back on the field. 

Aguilas
Aguilas

@PaulParsons Actually learn to read....he spilled urine and gave a dilluted sample...that means it could be PEDs.  Ever watch sports!?

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@HarshRealities I agree. There is a lot more to this than has been made public so far. No one can legally comment on what the infractions are so we are left to our fervid imaginations. But six game means more than a little Mr. Giggle.

HarshRealities
HarshRealities

@OwG  You don't get a 6 game suspension on your first failed drug test for smoking weed.

Whatever
Whatever

@RescuedfromESPN You still can't smoke pot and drive (DUI, just like prescription meds) and any company can ban you from using it by company policy and drug testing.

Richard B
Richard B

@RescuedfromESPN It's still illegal federally too and in some cities. I'm in Denver and the highway patrol, for example, can arrest you for smoking pot.

David G
David G

@RescuedfromESPN The company or league rules still apply.  While it may be legal for you it may not be legal for the NFL. 

Skins'Fan
Skins'Fan

@espnrefugee0218 @WHO*IS*ESPN according to some it helps to "play through pain." Bunch of bull. No reason he should get six if everyone else has gotten 4, it sets a precedent and the NFLPA should be fighting it

OwG
OwG

@HarshRealities @OwG 

It'd be his second positive test going back to draft process, if weed is the cause. Goddell is known for creative uses of the rules to ban players. 

Holden
Holden

@HarshRealities Players who don't do drugs, don't get suspended, pure and simple.  ANY commissioner , these days, will punish offenders harshly.  

It ought to be, "three strikes and you're OUT...forever."  Since it's not, that second strike HAS to provide for enough punishment to deter MOST players from running afoul from the rules, again.