The Denver Broncos' turbulent offseason took another negative turn Monday with the news that star outside linebacker Von Miller is facing a potential four-game suspension.

Although ESPN didn't specify whether it's for violating the performance-enhancing drug policy or for the substance-abuse program, a four-game suspension is typically for the former. The report stated that Miller is currently in the appeals process, so no suspension has been levied.

The Denver Post reported that Miller tested positive for amphetamines and marijuana as a rookie.

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.

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 most disruptive 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.

Because of a fax debacle, the Broncos lost Pro Bowl outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil during the offseason as they were forced to cut him and absorb a salary-cap hit. He now plays for the Ravens, having been signed to a $35 million contract in March.

The Broncos have also dealt with driving under the influence arrests and suspensions for personnel executives Matt Russell and Tom Heckert.

awilson@baltsun.com

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