Denver Broncos star pass rusher Von Miller has been officially suspended by the league for the first six games of the regular season for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy.
Consequently, the Pro Bowl outside linebacker won't play against the Ravens in a Sept. 5 season-opener in Denver.
“The substances of abuse policy requires everyone to comply with the rules,” Miller said in a statement released by the NFL Players Association. “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.?”
Miller led the Broncos with 18.5 sacks last season.
In two NFL seasons, the former Butkus Award winner from Texas A&M has 132 tackles, 30 sacks, one interception and eight forced fumbles.
“Von has acknowledged making some mistakes in the past and is now being held accountable under the policies the league has in place,” Broncos coach John Fox said in a statement. “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. I expect Von to stay in excellent shape and be ready to play at a high level when he returns to the Broncos.”
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun