Denver Broncos: Was Matt Prater’s suspension too much?

Last season, Matt Prater established himself as the best kicker in the league. He missed only one field goal, would kick them through easily from more than 50 yards away, and even broke a 43 year old record when he kicked in a 64 yard field goal. But this year, he will have to wait to help out the Broncos, since he will be suspended for the first four games of the season.

Prater was suspended after he violated the NFL substance abuse policy by consuming alcohol while he was in in the league’s

alcohol program. He didn’t go out and get wasted, he didn’t go out and jump into a canal (Pat MacAfee), but two beers were enough for the NFL to suspend him. The problem with this is the slew of players that are getting into trouble and serving less of a suspension for their first league penalty.

Prater wasn’t caught with steroids, he was drinking a couple beers. If you compare that to a player like Josh Gordon, who is on his third substance abuse suspension, only had a two game suspension last year on his second offense. This is Prater’s first suspension, even though he has had problems in the past. There are many other players that are missing time this season, such as Robert Mathis, Dwayne Bowe, Justin Blackmon, and LaVon Brazill. Dwayne Bowe is only serving a one game suspension The most controversial of all is Ray Rice, who is suspended the first two games for personal conduct violation. There was video of Rice pulling his unconscious fiance out of the elevator, and cops reported that they were fighting. How is drinking a couple beers worse than Rice‘s personal conduct violation? Whatever the case, there is no changing it.

The suspension will left the Broncos without a questionable kicker until Prater’s return, so they went out and got one. Mitch Ewald was a rookie from Indiana who didn’t have the leg to compete. They traded their seventh round pick next year to the Giants for Brandon McManus. McManus has not had much experience kicking in the NFL, only kicking three field goals in his career so far, but he was a good kicker at Temple. It is one thing to be able to hit field goals in practice, but when the pressue is on and the game is on your shoulders its very difficult, so we will see if McManus needs to be that guy during his four game stand. The conditions of the trade was that the Giants keep the pick if McManus stays the starter after Prater returns, which is very unlikely.

Denver Broncos vs. Indianapolis Colts: Game preview

Prater has apologized to the fans and his teammates, and it was clearly effecting his performance against the Texans. He seemed off, not able to drive in with the confidence he had last year. There is no doubt that the Broncos will be happy to get him back when they take on the Jets October 12th.

And as far as suspension goes, there is nothing else to be done. Prater did mess up, he admitted it, and everyone moves on. Four games can be the difference between making the playoffs or not, but the point of a suspension is to show the player not to mess up again. Hopefully this will be the last time Prater needs to worry about it.

  • Liam

    What a man does in his own house is HIS OWN BUSINESS…unless he is stuffing the bodies of young boys in the crawl space and does p-t work as a clown…

    4 Games for drinking beer in your own home…what is this a police state?!!?

    Ray Rice goes upstairs on wifee with a devastating left hook to the jaw, in the next ‘rage from the hood’….ELEVATOR KNOCKOUT…where the young black youths of america demonstrate their alpha dog mojo by DROPPING unsuspecting innocent people with musak accompanying in the background…and he only gets TWO GAMES


  • Darrell Birkey

    The NFL has admitted they were wrong in the case of Rice. When Prater got a DUI (criminal offense), the after care program is the direct result of that. That is why alcohol is of limits. He violated the conditions that he was given after his previous offense. As far as how much he drank, we have his lawyer;s claim that he only had a couple of beers. That doesn’t mean it’s truth. Lawyers lie for a living,

  • Jamm

    If it was too much, then he shouldn’t have agreed to it in the first place. He knew the rules and he still chose to break them.

  • 5150mike

    It’s ridiculous, I could go on for hours about how unfair it is, & how players as of recent have Ben busted for illegal substances. Received way less of a punishment for it. What would be the point though? Just another way the NFL is choosing to f**k this sport up! Keep up the great work guys

    • jamm

      It’s not unfair. It was a repeat offense, the 1st being a DUI.

      • 5150mike

        It wasn’t a repeat offence! He wasn’t drinking & driving! He had a couple beers AT HIS HOUSE!!! Players recently have Ben busted for illegal substances & received les of a suspension. Like I stated it does no good to go back & forth with anyone about it. I was simply stating how I felt. Which is the NFL has once again f**ked up!