The Denver Broncos will be without Pro-Bowl linebacker Von Miller for their first six games.
Miller will serve a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, a punishment that will cost Miller more than $800,000 of the $2.3 million he was expected to make this season.
“I made mistakes and my suspension has hurt my team, Broncos fans, and myself,” he said in a statement. “I am especially sorry for the effect of my bad decisions on others. I will not make the same mistakes about adhering to the policy in the future. During my time off the field, I will work tirelessly and focus exclusively on remaining in peak shape. I look forward to contributing immediately upon my return to the field and bringing a championship back to the people of Denver.”
The league did not announce the nature of Miller’s violations. According to The Denver Post, Miller ran afoul of the league’s drug policy starting in his rookie year, when he tested positive several times for marijuana and an undisclosed amphetamine.
Miller’s suspension will begin Aug. 30; he is expected to play in the Broncos’ next preseason game Aug. 24. Miller was a runner-up for defensive player of the year last season, recording 68 total tackles, 18.5 sacks and six forced fumbles.
Miller will miss the team’s first game against the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, who eliminated the Broncos from the playoffs last season, as well as games against the New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, and Jacksonville Jaguars. Miller will return on Oct. 20 against the Indianapolis Colts.
The suspension was the latest bad news for the Broncos, who lost starting center Dan Koppen for the season with an ACL injury.