Von Miller can't seem to get out of his own way.
News broke Monday morning that Miller, who was in the appeals process regarding a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, will actually be suspended at least six games per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
According to the NFL Drug Policy, a player enters “Stage One” of the Intervention Program following a positive test. Reports surfaced that Miller failed a drug test for marijuana and amphetamines – the party drug “Molly” – back in 2011, his rookie year in the league. Per the policy, once a player is put in “Stage One”, he is referred to a doctor and given a treatment plan, fined three game checks, but the positive test isn't made public at that time.
It's why news of the four-game suspension came as a shock to many one month ago, but the plot has only thickened since then.
Each time a player fails – or refuses or tampers with – a test, he moves to the next level of the program. To be suspended for four games, Miller would have had to move from “Stage One” to “Stage Two” of the NFL's Drug Policy, and then fail again.
Then, to go from four games to six games, as was reported Monday morning, he would have had to fail, refuse or tamper with another two tests. It would also mean an advancement in the program, from “Stage Two” to “Stage Three.”
While this hasn't been specified by the league, if it's true, moving to “Stage Three” would be truly troublesome for Miller. That's because once a player enters “Stage Three,” he's there for the rest of his career. Another failed, missed, refused or tampered with test, and he's banished from the NFL for one calendar year.
Some wonder if the news of Miller's arrest last weekend has anything to do with his suspension moving from four to six games, and that seems very unlikely since they are two separate matters. While Miller could have some discipline come down on him for driving recklessly and without a license or insurance, it wouldn't be tacked onto the substance abuse suspension.
Miller is now asking for help of the NFL Players Association, and they will meet with the NFL Tuesday to try and get his suspension lowered back down to four games.