One of the ways to cool down over a hot summer is to have a cold drink. But in some situations, even a single frosty drink on a hot day can cost a lot.
That’s the situation faced by Denver Broncos placekicker Matt Prater. A DUI he received in 2011 resulted in his placement in the NFL’s substance abuse program. This summer, he violated league policy while in the program by drinking beer on vacation.
The violation is going to cost the kicker a four-game suspension to start the 2014 season. The Broncos host the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 7 in the opening game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Of more concern to fans is the likelihood that the Broncos will have to pick up a veteran kicker to take over Prater’s duties during his suspension.
Another possibility is that the Broncos will use their backup, rookie Mitch Ewald.
“I am really sorry,” eight-year veteran Prater said of his suspension. He was arrested for driving under the influence in Greenwood Village on August 12, 2011. He was also charged with leaving the scene of an accident.
The former Central Florida kicker is currently in alcohol treatment. He vows that he will not drink again while in the league’s substance abuse program.
He said the looming suspension has hurt him this preseason. He said the punishment has been on his mind and affected his ability to kick, but now that he knows how long he’ll be out, he will “hopefully get past it and continue to have success here.”
Source: CBS Denver, “Broncos’ Prater: ‘I Screwed Up’ On Drinking That Led To Suspension,” August 25, 2014