Von Miller was in the process of appealing a four-game suspension, but that suspension could now be extended to as many as six games. A decision could be made as soon as today that could keep the Broncos all-pro linebacker out of the Denver lineup for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Miller has been the center of controversy ever since commissioner Roger Goodell announced the initial suspension in late July. The NFL Players Association has stated that Miller did not test positive for a performance-enhancing drug while another NFL source told the Denver Post that Miller tested negative for recreational drugs. Last week’s announcement of Miller’s arrest for failing to appear in court is said to be unrelated to the reason for the increased suspension.
The NFL does not punish players for missing drug tests or counseling sessions. So if Von Miller tested negative for PEDs and recreational drugs, what is he being punished for? Confidentiality of the league’s policies is likely the reason to why uncertainties of this incident remain. Miller and his attorney’s are said to be negotiating with the NFL to reduce his suspension from six games to four.
The Broncos must now settle many questions with their defense as Von Miller is not the only player expected to miss playing time. Star cornerback Champ Bailey will miss “several weeks” after severely spraining his foot in Saturday’s preseason loss to the Seattle Seahawks. After a terrifying incident that caused him to leave the field in an ambulance, defensive end Derek Wolfe suffered a spinal injury that thankfully resulted in negative X-ray and MRI results. Wolfe’s return to the Broncos has not yet been determined.