The NFL is taking a no-nonsense stance on its substance abuse policy. Especially if a player is being circulated through the drug program.
Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater was arrested for a DUI in 2011 and has been part of the aforementioned program ever since. While out on vacation this offseason, he consumed some beer and now the league is putting him on ice for four games.
Via Fox Sports:
A contrite Matt Prater apologized to the Denver Broncos and their fans for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy by drinking beer, resulting in a four-game ban to start the season.
Prater’s lawyer said the NFL initially sought a yearlong suspension after Prater tested positive for alcohol consumption while on vacation in the offseason.
Prater, the league’s top kicker, has been in the NFL’s drug program, which includes alcohol, since a DUI arrest on Aug. 12, 2011. He said he realized one more strike meant he’d face sitting out an entire season when he decided to have some beers ”right after the season.”
”Why did I risk it?” Prater said. ”I made a mistake. I don’t have an excuse for it. I screwed up and now I’m paying the price for it.”
The suspension will cost Prater $705,882 in base salary and forces the Broncos to go with Plan B until their Oct. 12 game against the Jets. He’ll miss games against Indianapolis, Kansas City, Seattle and Arizona.
Either way, coach John Fox indicated it will only be a stop-gap solution and that the Broncos will welcome back Prater when his suspension is over.
”He’s part of our family,” Fox said. ”He’s one of ours and we’re going to support him through this.”
Prater pledged not to have a sip of alcohol ”as long as I’m in this program,” which ostensibly covers the rest of his NFL career.
Most likely he was trying to wash away the memory of the Super Bowl massacre. Prater also holds the NFL record for the longest field goal (64 yards).