Denver Broncos place kicker Matt Prater has been suspended for the first four games of the season for an alcohol related violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.
The four-game suspension, which is expected to be announced Monday, was part of an agreement reached between Prater’s attorney, Harvey Steinberg, and the league, so an appeal is not expected. The NFL had initially threatened a one-year suspension.
“No one feels worse about this than Matt Prater,” Steinberg said. “He feels terribly for his teammates. It’s cost him personally, both professionally and financially. I wonder if we shouldn’t take a second look at the policy when only a couple beers were consumed at home while he was on vacation. Having said that, the NFL under the constraints of the policy couldn’t have treated us better.”
Prater’s suspension will include the game against the Chiefs on September 14 in Denver.
In addition to the announcement of Prater’s absence, Wes Welker’s reoccurring issues with concussions have returned. Welker was knocked out of the Broncos preseason game after taking a blow to the head. It was announced later he was out with a concussion.
This is the third concussion suffered by Welker in his last 10 games played. He missed three games last season due to two separate concussions. One would think Welker will be healthy enough to play against the Chiefs in week two, but it is hard to tell given Welker’s recent issues and the NFL’s emphasis on head injuries.