Von Miller's suspension bumped up to 6 games
Regardless of what led to the four-game ban, Miller planned to appeal it from the start, saying that he did "nothing wrong" and that he knew the matter would be "resolved fairly." Unfortunately for Miller and the Broncos, the appeal did not go nearly as well as they had hoped.
After reviewing Miller's appeal, the NFL came down on Miller with a six-game ban - two more games than he was originally suspended for. The league was obviously not persuaded by Miller's appeal, and a separate incident is likely what triggered the bump in punishment.
Miller was arrested on August 11 for failing to appear for a December 31 court date. The incident surely got the NFL even more fed up with the troublesome youngster, and Miller will now be ineligible to play until Week 7 when the Broncos take on the Indianapolis Colts.
Miller will miss games against the Ravens, Giants, Raiders, Eagles, Cowboys, and Jaguars during his suspension - not the worst stretch of the schedule to lose your best pass rusher.
The Broncos' defense will take a sizable hit without Miller on the field during the early going of the regular season. A true defensive superstar, Miller has racked up 30.0 sacks through his first two NFL seasons (18.5 in 2012) with nine forced fumbles. Having lost Elvis Dumervil to the Baltimore Ravens this offseason, don't expect the same ferocity out of the Broncos' pass rush this season, particularly during weeks one through six.
Longtime San Diego Charger Shaun Phillips will be Miller's primary replacement while he serves his suspension. A Pro Bowler in 2010, Phillips has 69.5 career sacks and racked up 9.5 in 2012. Though he is 32 years old, he is certainly a capable player and the Broncos are lucky to have such a productive and experienced reserve. Even so, there's no way Phillips could completely fill the shoes of a 24-year-old who got to the quarterback 18.5 times a season ago.