The news that Denver Broncos star pass rusher Von Miller is facing a potential four-game suspension for violating the NFL drug policy hit Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil particularly hard.
Over the past two seasons in Denver before the fax debacle that propelled Dumervill off the Broncos' roster and into a $35 million contract in Baltimore, Miller and Dumervil formed one of the most disruptive pass-rushing tandems in the league.
Now, Miller is in trouble with the league as he awaits an appeal of his suspension in August.
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Dumervil said he was aware of Miller's predicament even before it became publicly known this week. Close to Miller, Dumervil struck a somber tone when asked about Miller.
"I spoke to Von the day before the situation broke," Dumervil said today at team headquarters. "We have conversations all the time. He's like a younger brother. It's an unfortunate situation that happened. I told him, Man, adversity happens. It's how you respond to it.' So, he's like a younger brother. So that's a little sensitive."
If Miller is ultimately punished for the first four games, he wouldn't be able to play against the Ravens in a Sept. 5 season opener in Denver.
It would represent a significant blow for the Broncos because Miller is a game-changing pass rusher who has already earned Pro Bowl status.
“Out of respect, out of confidentiality and this being an ongoing situation, I can’t really touch on it with too much detail," Miller told Denver reporters today. "But when this is all done and resolved, I will sit down with all you guys and be candid about everything.”
Miller has rare speed and athleticism, but was contained in the Ravens' double-overtime victory over the Broncos as he was limited to a half-sack. He had 18 1/2 sacks during the regular season last year.
In just two NFL seasons, the former Butkus Award winner from Texas A&M has recorded 132 tackles, 30 sacks, one interception and eight forced fumbles as one of the top speed rushers in the game.
At 6 feet 3, 250 pounds, Miller has run the 40-yard dash in the high 4.4 range, as fast as many running backs.
However, it's his actions off the field that's in question, not his talent.
The Denver Post reported that Miller failed drug tests for marijuana and amphetamines as a rookie.
When asked if marijuana is part of his life, Miller replied: "Absolutely not."
Miller said today that the NFL Player Association comment from spokesman George Atallah that he didn't fail a performance-enhancing drug test was accurate.
“It’s a tough situation," Miller said. "Out of respect for the whole thing I can’t touch into too much detail about it. I don’t think I have let my teammates down. Everybody has tough moments in their lives. My teammates have been great to me."