Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller has reportedly been suspended for the first six games of the 2013 season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. He will be eligible to return in Week 7 when the team plays the Colts in Indianapolis.
This should conclude a disappointing offseason for one of the league's brightest defensive stars. Miller has produced 30.0 sacks in his first two seasons and was expected to be relied on heavily with the departure of Elvis Dumervil to Baltimore.
This is perhaps the most notable NFL suspension to a star player since Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was suspended for the first six games (reduced to four) in 2010. He returned and the Steelers made it to Super Bowl XLV. Like it did for Roethlisberger, hopefully this suspension will serve as a wake-up call to Miller to get his life's priorities in order.
While any reported demise of the Broncos' Super Bowl chances would be greatly exaggerated at this time, this certainly does not help in obtaining a first-round bye. The Broncos open with Baltimore, head to New Jersey for the third Manning Bowl, host Oakland and Philadelphia, visit Dallas and host Jacksonville. Denver started 2-3 last season before winning 11 straight.
As long as Miller is there to rush the quarterback in January, Denver's only concern may be whether or not to put Rahim Moore on the field with a one-score lead again.