ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Von Miller is practicing with the Denver Broncos as a new report suggests the All-Pro linebacker could be facing an even longer suspension than originally thought.
ESPN, citing people it didn’t identify, reported that Miller might have to sit out at least six games for violating the league’s drug abuse policy. In that case, Miller’s earliest possible game would be Oct. 20 at Indianapolis.
Previously, it was believed Miller was facing a monthlong suspension to start the 2013 season. Miller had repeatedly expressed confidence he was going to successfully win an appeal of that penalty, insisting he had “done nothing wrong.”
Miller now is unlikely to go forward with an appeal, which was expected to be heard Tuesday, ESPN reported.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press, “We have nothing to report” on the matter, and Miller’s agent, Joby Branion, didn’t return a phone call from the AP.
Miller, who has 30 sacks in his first two NFL seasons, is the fulcrum of coordinator Jack Del Rio’s defense in Denver, consistently commanding double teams. He’s a major reason, along with Peyton Manning, that oddsmakers favor the Broncos to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
Miller missed practice last Thursday to huddle with lawyers, and has been able to put aside the specter of a suspension while having a terrific training camp.
His off-the-field troubles were compounded earlier this month, though, when he was arrested for failing to appear in court for traffic violations last fall, something he apologized for following Denver’s 40-10 preseason loss at Seattle on Saturday night.
That arrest, however, is not relevant to the drug case.
Miller would be allowed to practice with the Broncos and play in their last two exhibition games if he’s suspended. He would have to leave the team on Aug. 30.
The Broncos play four of their first six games at home, against Baltimore, Oakland, Philadelphia and Jacksonville. They also visit the Giants and Cowboys during that span.
Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter:http://twitter.com/arniestapleton
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