Jeff Legwold | ESPN.com
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller formally returned to the team Monday but chose not to address any specifics regarding his six-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.
Miller didn’t admit to any failed drug tests, didn’t admit to trying to influence a drug test collector or offer any hints if he has been in any sort of treatment program.
Instead, Miller simply tried to focus on the future and what he called the struggle “to gain everybody’s trust back.”
I definitely made mistakes, but I’m working hard to fix those mistakes. I can’t, you know, relish on the past or anything, but I can sit here and say I’m working hard to be a better person, to be a better football player, to be a better teammate.
” — Von Miller
“I definitely made mistakes in the past,” Miller said following a team video session Monday afternoon. “It wouldn’t do anybody any good to go back and defend that stuff. I served my suspension, I’m working hard to gain everybody’s trust back. I’m just going to take it one day at a time. All I can ask is that everybody judge me on my actions going forward. And I can gain everybody’s trust back that way.”
Miller will take part in his first practice Wednesday and is on track to play Sunday against Indianapolis.
Per the league’s substance-abuse policy, Miller is now in Stage 3, meaning he is subject to increased unannounced testing, up to 10 times a month, and will remain in Stage 3 for the remainder of his career. Any further misstep under the policy’s guidelines will mean Miller would be suspended for a minimum of a calendar year.
“Like I said, all I can do is take it one day at a time, one play at a time and gain everybody’s trust back like that,” Miller said. “I can’t sit here and say ‘this is never going to happen’ or ‘I’m never going to do this’ … I’d be lying. I just got to take it one day at a time and gain everybody’s trust back.
“I definitely made mistakes, but I’m working hard to fix those mistakes. I can’t, you know, relish on the past or anything, but I can sit here and say I’m working hard to be a better person, to be a better football player, to be a better teammate.”
Asked if he believed Miller had taken care of off-field matters in a way that would help him succeed in his return, Broncos coach John Fox said, “I’m not really sure how to answer that.”
“He’s worked really hard with our strength department, I know he’s worked hard in meetings, he’s taken and turned in the tests, we test our players every week to see if they’re on top of all the game plans. He’s got the support of everybody here. As far as off the field, I can’t speak to all of that.”
“I learned you’ve got to slow down, I learned that traffic tickets and procrastination lead to some bigger things,” Miller said. “I’ve had a lot of time to stable myself … I’ve learned my mistakes can affect others. All I can do is take it one day at a time and be the best person and the best football player I can possibly be.”
Asked if he was concerned that another stumble in the league’s substance-abuse program would result in a suspension of at least a year, Fox said he worried about all players in any “incidents.”
“I think he understands that, you know, he made some errors and there are a lot of people here the help him, his teammates, coaching staff, people in the organization, we’ll see where it goes,” Fox said. “People in life make mistakes. We’ll see where that goes.”
Following the league’s announcement of his suspension in August, Miller was also arrested on an outstanding warrant for a missed court appearance and was stopped just days after that and cited for multiple traffic violations, including driving on a suspended license.
Miller did say he has tried to get those affairs in order as well.
“I think in the last 2-2½ months I definitely have had to mature a lot,” Miller said. “There was definitely some stuff that I didn’t see that I see now. I’ve taken strides to do that. I can’t sit here and say I’m super mature and bad things won’t happen; it’s a constant struggle. I know if I can continue to take it one day at a time, I know I can get there.”
Miller did take some umbrage with reports locally in the Denver area that his parents, Von and Gloria, had moved in with him. Both his parents have spent a great deal of time in Colorado since the suspension was announced, but Miller denied they had moved in with him.
“On that note, I don’t have a babysitter, you can go around the facility and ask anybody and nobody would give you that description with me as a babysitter,” Miller said. “My mom, my dad, they did not move in with me. … They still have a house in Dallas, they still come down here for games, I don’t have a babysitter, my mom, my dad don’t live with me.”
- Covered Broncos for nine years for Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News
- Previously covered Steelers, Bills and Titans
- Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame Board
of Selectors since 1999