Von Miller’s six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance policy has been extended by a game. Sorta.
According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, Broncos coach John Fox has decided not to play Miller in the team’s preseason finale. Shutting down the end rusher before he misses the beginning stages of the NFL season for a second violation of the league’s policy on banned substances. It was the second time Miller has tested positive for a non-PED substance, a crucial violation that has him on the verge of a one year ban from the league should he fail another test.
Starting or playing Miller was a tough call for Fox all preseason with the suspension looming over the team like a dark cloud. With Miller due to sit for six weeks, it made and still makes sense to give him one last chance to play in a game. But on the other side of thinking if Miller were to suffer an injury that would make him unavailable beyond his suspension, Fox would face relentless criticism. With Denver hoping to contend for the Super Bowl this year, expectations are high for Fox, something he is not willing to risk on playing a suspended player one more time before he goes to sit in the corner for six weeks.
The loss of Miller places Denver in a tough situation heading into the first segment of their 2013 NFL schedule. First up will be the Broncos hosting the Ravens without Miller or Elvis Dumervil, who now suits up for the enemy after leaving town this offseason. The Broncos didn’t forsee Miller’s suspension, and the ramifications of losing their two elite outside pass rushers is about to smack them right in the face in just seven days.