As first reported by The Denver Post and later confirmed by the Denver Broncos, linebacker Von Miller was suspended for the first six games of the NFL season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Tim Ryan and Pat Kirwan reacted to news of the suspension on SiriusXM NFL Radio Tuesday, discussing the impact Miller’s absence will have on the Broncos’ performance over the first part of the season.
“My prediction is they’re going to come out of it 4-2,” Kirwan said. “Worst-case scenario, in my mind, is 3-3.”
As Ryan and Kirwan pointed out, Denver takes on the Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and Jacksonville Jaguars over that period. The group of games includes just one divisional opponent — Oakland — but a handful of talented opposing quarterbacks, including Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, Michael Vick and Tony Romo.
Miller’s absence will leave a large hole in the Broncos’ pass rush, as the third-year pro recorded 30 sacks the last two seasons, including 18 1/2 in 2012.
Kirwan added that he saw the suspension coming, and wouldn’t have been shocked if the league aimed to discipline Miller for longer than six games.
“No surprise to me, and probably you [Ryan] either, that this guy got six games,” Kirwan said. “If you try to manipulate or create an advantage, or do anything, that’s above and beyond doing something wrong. That’s premeditated. And if they [the NFL] determines something is premeditated, they’re going to slap it down pretty hard.
“No surprise in my mind that this happened. I think at some point, they might have [even] discussed a whole year,” Kirwan added.
Movin’ The Chains with Ryan and Kirwan airs weekdays at 3 pm ET on SiriusXM NFL Radio, channel 88.