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Matt Prater suspended for 4 games for Alcohol

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DENVER -- Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season for a violation of the NFL's substance-abuse program, multiple team sources confirmed following the team's 18-17 preseason loss to the Houston Texans.

Prater, who has been in the league's program since an August 2011 DUI arrest, acknowledged the suspension to the Broncos and confirmed the four games to The Denver Post on Saturday night before he left Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

The suspension is alcohol-related, according to the newspaper.

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Justin Edmonds/Getty ImagesMatt Prater will be suspended for the first four games of the season and is not expected to appeal.

A Broncos spokesman said the team would have no comment on the suspension "at this time.'' Prater and Broncos coach John Fox had a brief discussion in the locker room following the game.

Prater played in Saturday night's game, making a 32-yard field goal and missing a 49-yard attempt.

He has been subject to increased testing in the league's substance-abuse program since he was charged in August 2011 with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of a crash.

At the time, Greenwood Village, Colorado, police said Prater's blood alcohol level was recorded at 0.142, or nearly twice Colorado's .08 limit. Team sources said Saturday that the latest test that prompted the suspension was conducted earlier this offseason.

The team doesn't expect Prater to appeal the suspension.

Prater made 25 of 26 field goal attempts (96.2 percent) last season, including an NFL-record 64-yarder in December against the Tennessee Titans. His career 82.9 percent success rate ranks first in franchise history, and he has made 51 of 54 career attempts in the fourth quarter or overtime.

He also led the league in touchbacks on kickoffs in both 2012 and 2013.

The Broncos will give the waiver wire a close look in the coming days and do have a rookie in training camp, Mitch Ewald. Ewald missed his only attempt Saturday night -- a 36-yarder that he pushed left.

Prater's suspension is for four games, so, because of the Broncos' bye in Week 4, he wouldn't be eligible to return until the Monday before the Broncos face the New York Jets on Oct. 12 at MetLife Field.

Prater would have to be formally reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

The Broncos also opened last season without one of their starters when linebacker Von Miller was suspended for six games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.


Considering the NFL has suspended Robert Mathis for taking a fertility drug and now suspended Prater for alcohol, doesn't their drug policy seem a little extreme?

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he wasn't suspended for alcohol per se


he was arrested for DUI and left the scene, so was put in the SA program, and subjected to testing.  He presumably failed a test


suspended for stupidity is more accurate

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Weed: season

If you drive under the influence of booze or weed, that should be suspendable. If it was a DWI plus, he is a dumbass. But how getting your drink on or baked with no real harm to anyone constitutes a 4 game ban is a joke.There are huge beer and alcohol ads in every NFL stadium and within every NFL telecast, and beer and booze is readily available.In Seattle, Denver and California, weed is either legal or close to it.Josh Gordon may be a dumbass in many ways, but smoking weed by itself should not be enough to ban him for a season.


Have some experience with people using excessive prescription drugs. It's the biggest unreported epidemic of drug use right now. If the NFL started testing for the stuff their own doctors are giving thes guys, the games might be 7 on 7.


 Dragging your soo to be Mrs, through a hotel lobby by her hair, no biggie. Goodell is a f___ing a-hole.

Edited by Bugg
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IIRC Matt Prater took a stripper to a hotel, and when he found the hotel was sold out for the night, while backing out of that parking lot  hit a sedan, fled into the hotel's lobby,  left the stripper hanging there, checked into another hotel nearby. Was caught reeking of alcohol and then pretended he was too afraid to do the right thing because people were yelling at him and he didn't think of reporting it to he police.


He got off lightly for that incident. Like a slap on the wrist. Most people are taken to the county jail. He was cited and released in to the custody of a Broncos VP. But i think as a tradeoff he had to be part of the league's SA program. And thats what got him this 4 game suspension.

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In case that wasn't already ridiculous enough, there are reports that it was originally set to be a full season suspension for Prater, but was knocked down to 4 games thanks to his lawyer.


How is it possible that the CBA allows for alcohol-related repeat offenses to be knocked down, but marijuana-related third strike offenses are 1 year (positive test) or nothing (negative)? 

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