Von Miller lined up at his usual position Monday and flashed the freakish athletic moves that might soon be missing from the Broncos’ ramshackle defense.
The All-Pro linebacker brushed past reporters after another stellar practice, choosing not to stop and talk about the latest report that he could be facing an even longer suspension that originally thought.
ESPN reported that Miller might have to sit out at least six games for violating the league’s drug abuse policy. Previously, it was believed Miller was facing a monthlong suspension to start the 2013 season.
Miller had repeatedly expressed confidence he was going to successfully win an appeal of any pending penalty, insisting he had ‘‘done nothing wrong.’’ Now, Miller is unlikely to go forward with such an appeal, which was expected to be heard Tuesday, ESPN reported.
Without definitive word from the league that a suspension was forthcoming, the Broncos once again had Miller line up with the rest of the No. 1 defense at practice.
Two other key members of Denver’s defense were missing Monday as cornerback Champ Bailey (sprained left foot) and lineman Derek Wolfe (cervical spine) were held out after getting hurt in a preseason game at Seattle last weekend.
On Monday, Malik Jackson replaced Wolfe, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie filled in for Bailey, Bubba Caldwell replaced wide receiver Wes Welker (ankle), and C.J. Davis was at right guard for Louis Vasquez (knee). Also, recently signed center Ryan Lilja was sidelined with a sore knee, keeping Manny Ramirez as Peyton Manning’s primary snapper. It’s unlikely Bailey, Wolfe or Welker will play again in the preseason, but the Broncos hope to have all three for their Sept. 5 opener against Baltimore.
Cousins hobbles off
Second-year quarterback Kirk Cousins, the top backup to Robert Griffin III, left the Redskins’ second preseason game after spraining his right foot.
Starting exhibitions while Griffin comes back from offseason knee surgery, Cousins left Monday night’s 24-13 victory over visiting Pittsburgh early in the second quarter.
On the second of two consecutive plays on which he ran the ball, Cousins was dragged down along the sideline by linebacker Lawrence Timmons. Cousins immediately grabbed his right foot. He was examined on the field and on the sideline, then walked to the locker room. Rex Grossman replaced him and went 10 for 16 passing for 133 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Steelers rookie running back Le’Veon Bell left in the first quarter because of an injured right foot. Bell carried the ball on all four plays on Pittsburgh’s first possession, gaining a total of 9 yards, but he was replaced by Jonathan Dwyer during the team’s second drive.
Gabbert gets nod
Blaine Gabbert has a starting job — if he’s healthy.
Jaguars coach Gus Bradley named Gabbert his starting quarterback Monday, the same day he announced the former Missouri standout will miss the rest of the preseason because of a broken thumb.
Gabbert has a hairline fracture in his right thumb, an injury sustained during Saturday’s 37-13 exhibition loss to the Jets. Gabbert completed 13 of 16 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown in three series — arguably his best showing in three years. He banged his hand on a defender’s helmet during his final throw. Gabbert won’t need surgery, but he will wear a protective brace while the bone heals.
WRs stars of swap
The Chiefs and 49ers are hoping a change of scenery will give two disappointing first-round picks an opportunity to realize their potential. The Chiefs traded wide receiver Jon Baldwin to the 49ers for fellow wideout A.J. Jenkins.
Baldwin was the 26th overall choice of the Chiefs in 2011. Jenkins was the 30th overall pick of the 49ers last year. He appeared in three games but did not make a catch, even though he was healthy throughout his team’s Super Bowl run.
The Browns, who needed an experienced guard after losing Shawn Lauvao and Jason Pinkston to ankle injuries in the past week, acquired offensive lineman John Moffitt in a trade from Seattle for defensive lineman Brian Sanford. The 6-foot-4-inch, 319-pound Moffitt made 15 starts over the past two seasons. Sanford played in six games the past three seasons for Cleveland.
More tests for Mingo
Browns rookie linebacker Barkevious Mingo will undergo further tests on a bruised lung, an injury that caused him to spit up blood during an exhibition game last week.
Browns CEO Joe Banner said running back Dion Lewis underwent surgery Monday after breaking his left leg last week. Banner said the team still does not know if Lewis will play this year.
Bills boot Lindell
Buffalo’s youth movement continued as the Bills released Rian Lindell, the most accurate kicker in franchise history, after 10 years in Buffalo, meaning rookie Dustin Hopkins has won the starting job. Lindell, who was the longest-tenured player on the roster, leaves Buffalo with a field goal percentage of 83.3, connecting on 225 of 270 attempts . . . The Saints terminated the contracts of reserve quarterback Seneca Wallace and receivers Steve Breaston and Patrick Crayton, placed defensive end Kenyon Coleman on injured reserve, and waived five others.
Jets lose Coples
Jets linebacker Quinton Coples will be sidelined indefinitely with an ankle injury, and coach Rex Ryan says veteran Garrett McIntyre will take his place on the starting defense. The Jets announced Sunday that Coples, who led the team with 5½ sacks last season as a rookie, was having a ‘‘medical procedure’’ Tuesday . . . The Giants received mixed news regarding injuries to wide receiver Victor Cruz and center David Baas. Cruz only bruised his left heel Sunday in the first quarter of New York’s 20-12 loss to the Colts, coach Tom Coughlin said. Baas is more of a concern: He sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee on the opening series, and his status will be gauged on a weekly basis. Also, defensive end Justin Tuck has a mild hamstring injury and his status is uncertain.
Te’o makes progress
Rookie linebacker Manti Te’o continues to rebound from what the Chargers are describing as a sprained right foot, his side work Monday coming minus his cumbersome walking boot. Te’o has yet to return to practice . . . The Vikings released cornerback Jacob Lacey a week after his arthroscopic knee surgery. Lacey signed with the Vikings in the offseason, but he was injured early in training camp and didn’t play in any exhibition games. Lacey was bothered by a thumb injury before he hurt his knee. Also, rookie defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd had a ‘‘minor procedure’’ to ease some pain in his left knee, which he hurt in the team’s first preseason game on Aug. 9 against Houston . . . Titans tight end Delanie Walker, who signed a four-year, $17.5 million contract this offseason, passed his physical and was removed from the physically unable to perform list. Walker had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee after the Titans wrapped up its offseason program and started training camp on the PUP list . . . Cowboys running back Lance Dunbar has a sprained left foot, putting his availability for the season opener in jeopardy.