Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller will be suspended at least six games for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy ESPN reported Monday. Miller was scheduled to meet with the league on Tuesday to appeal the looming suspension which had been initially set at four games.

It's a huge blow for the AFC's best team which is looking at being without its best defensive player for nearly half the season. Miller has 30 sacks in his first two seasons and had 18 1/2 in 2012. He's the heart and soul of their front seven and a key playmaker all over the field.

It's a been a rough offseason for Miller. In addition to news of his drug-related suspension coming out on July 22 he also was arrested on a outstanding traffic warrant last week stemming from an incident in October 2012.

The Broncos won't have Miller for the first stretch of the season beginning with a playoff rematch with the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens at home in the season opener on Thursday Sept. 5. His absence also includes a Week 2 game at the New York Giants and a Week 5 game at the Dallas Cowboys.