The good news for Broncos linebacker Von Miller is that he will make his return to the field on Sunday night, after missing six games for reportedly conspiring with a sample collector to beat the NFL’s drug-testing process.
The bad news for Miller is that he’s reportedly in Stage Three of the NFL’s substance-abuse program. By rule, he’ll remain there for the rest of his career. And he’ll be subject to up to 10 unannounced drug tests per month. (After three seasons, he can request that the monthly limit of tests be reduced.)
One false move and Miller will be banished from the league, with the ability to apply for reinstatement after a year. (That same reality applies to players like Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon and Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington.)
The undetermined news is whether Miller will lose $1.2 million in signing bonus money. Miller has filed a grievance arguing that, because he wasn’t suspended under the substance-abuse policy but via a negotiated settlement between the league and the NFLPA, the automatic forfeiture provision does not apply.