DENVER — The NFL suspended Denver Broncos star linebacker Von Miller for the first six games of the regular season Tuesday.
The initial report of Miller’s suspension leaked out about one month ago and it involved a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
Miller said he did nothing wrong. He was supposed to have an appeal heard last week, but that was postponed.
A diluted sample appears to have caused the most recent violation, NFL.com reported.
Reports Monday night indicated Miller was no longer planning to appeal a suspension. But that he was working out details of his suspension with the NFL.
Miller will miss home games against the Ravens, Raiders, Eagles and Jaguars. He’ll miss road games against the Giants and Cowboys. Miller will be allowed to return to action on October 20, a Sunday night game at the Indianapolis Colts.
Miller released a statement about the suspension Tuesday:
“The Substances of Abuse policy requires everyone to comply with the rules. Although my suspension doesn’t result from a positive test, there is no excuse for my violations of the rules. I made mistakes and my suspension has hurt my team, Broncos fans, and myself. 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.”
In addition to suspension, Miller will lose out on $806,000 in salary in 2013.
He is allowed to continue to participate in practices and preseason games. His contact with the team must end when his suspension begins on Saturday, August 31. He will be able to return to the active roster Monday, October 14 following the Broncos game against Jacksonville October 13.
Head coach John Fox says he expects Miller to stay in excellent shape and be ready to play at a high level when he returns to the team. Here is more of Fox’s statement:
“Von has acknowledged making some mistakes in the past and is now being held accountable under the policies the league has in place. While it’s very disappointing that we will be without him for the start of the season, we will support him as a football team and organization. All of us will stand by Von and help him however possible as he continues his personal growth off the field. Replacing him on the field will not be easy, but every team must deal with adversity. We will plan accordingly and be prepared. I am confident our team will step up and meet the challenge.”