ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – Denver Broncos Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller, already facing a suspension for violating the NFL’s drug-abuse policy, is now confronted by charges that he failed to show up in court on misdemeanor traffic violations.
Miller was arrested in Centennial on Sunday and then released, Arapahoe County sheriff’s detention chief Louie Perea said Wednesday.
The Broncos released a two-sentence statement saying they and league officials are aware of the allegation that Miller didn’t appear at a court hearing. The matter is “being handled through the legal system,” the statement said.
Miller wasn’t available for comment Wednesday. Coming off the field after practice, he was whisked away by a member of the team’s public relations staff to sign autographs and take photos with wounded members of the armed forces before being escorted by another staff member into team headquarters before reporters could ask him to stop and answer questions.
Miller was supposed to appear in court on Dec. 31 on charges of careless driving, driving without a license and no proof of insurance, Arapahoe County court officials said. The original citation was issued Oct. 25.
The address where Miller was arrested is the Centennial Gun Club, a shooting range. A woman who answered the phone at the club Wednesday said the owner was in a meeting and unavailable for comment.
The 24-year-old linebacker is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s drug-abuse policy. He has appealed and a hearing is scheduled for Thursday.
Miller has said he did nothing wrong.
It’s not known whether Miller will skip practice Thursday to attend the hearing.
The Broncos have been treating Miller as though he’ll be in the starting lineup when they open the season Sept. 5 against the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, although they have contingency plans in place in case they have to do without their best player.
If Miller loses his appeal, he’ll have to leave the team on Aug. 30 and sit out all of September, missing games against the Ravens, Raiders and Eagles at home and Giants on the road.
Miller, who was named Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2011, has 30 sacks over the last two seasons and consistently commands double teams.
Broncos executive vice president John Elway said last week at a keynote breakfast event held by the National Sports Center for the Disabled that “there’s not a more talented football player on offense or defense that I’ve ever seen than Von Miller,” and suggested Miller and Peyton Manning were the two biggest reasons for all the Super Bowl talk in Denver this summer.
Miller has had a terrific training camp despite the specter of a suspension hanging over him, and his teammates say he exudes a confidence in the locker room – which is off-limits to the media until the season begins – that he has a strong case that will result in at least a reduction in his suspension, if not an outright dismissal of the four-game penalty altogether.
Champ Bailey said on the eve of training camp that he would be shocked if Miller had to serve a four-game suspension and on Wednesday he said that he was just as confident Miller would win his appeal.
“Absolutely. I don’t know what else to be. My guy’s out there every day,” Bailey said. “I feel like he does have a good case. So, let’s see what happens.”
By DAN ELLIOTT and ARNIE STAPLETON, Associated Press Writers
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