Von Miller and the Denver Broncos were living on borrowed time while Miller appealed a proposed four-game suspension for substance use. However, the Broncos learned on Aug. 19 that they may lose their star linebacker for longer than that. According to ESPN, the suspension may keep Miller out for the first six games of the season, with a further appeal unlikely.
Miller has been allowed to play in the preseason while this goes on, yet ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter reported on Aug. 19 that the suspension may be official shortly. While they claim the Broncos still want to get the ban down to four games, Miller allegedly won’t go forward with an appeal regardless.
Once negotiations end and the Broncos know exactly how long they’ll be without Miller, they’ll have to hope it doesn’t put them in an early hole. Although Denver is a trendy Super Bowl pick, it has already lost center Dan Koppen for the season and now has to go without its best defenseman for some time. Between that and their heartbreaking loss to the Baltimore Ravens in last year’s playoffs, the Broncos aren’t entering 2013 with the best of momentum.
Nevertheless, how much worse off will the Broncos’ defense be without Miller in their first six games? Here is a list of Denver’s first six opponents, with not all of them posing serious threats on offense -- regardless of Miller’s presence or absence.