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St. Louis Rams Wide Receiver Nick Miller Suspended Four Games by the NFL: Fan’s Reaction
On Wednesday, Feb. 15, St. Louis Rams wide receiver Nick Miller was suspended for the first four games of the 2012 season after violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). The punishment likely means the end of Miller's tenure with the club.
Miller made an instant impact on the team in his Nov. 27, 2011 debut with the club. That was the day he excited Rams fans everywhere by returning a punt 88 yards for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals. Miller would then serve as one of the team's return men for the rest of the season, though he had little involvement with the offense.
Miller was probably a long-shot to make the 2012 roster before the suspension, but I think he had a better chance than many fans realize. The Rams have been looking for a decent kick returner since the Tony Horne days, and Miller has shown that he has the potential to be a difference-maker on special teams.
However, I have to believe his suspension ends any possibility the team will hold onto to him. The Rams already have problems at receiver. They can't afford to keep a special teams player on the roster who will do nothing for the season's first four games. Unfortunately, Miller has probably thrown away an opportunity to find a home with the Rams.
Miller is the second St. Louis receiver to be suspended for violating the league's policy. Austin Pettis missed the final two games of the 2011 season and will sit out the first two games of the upcoming season after testing positive for PEDs. New general manager Les Snead will also have to make a decision on whether or not to keep Pettis on the roster.
The former third-round draft pick was just starting to get acclimated to the Rams' offense when he was suspended, but that won't help his cause since a new offense is being installed for the 2012 season. Still, Pettis did flash some potential from time-to-time, and I hope he gets an opportunity to make the team during training camp. It would be a shame for another early draft pick from the 2011 class to be wasted.
Hopefully, the remaining players on the Rams roster stay away from PEDs. I'm sure it's tempting to find something that will give a player an edge, but it's not worth the risk. I'm sure both Miller and Pettis can attest to that.
Derek Ciapala has been a Rams fan since he was a child and the team was in Los Angeles. His favorite Rams moments include Flipper Anderson's 336-yard receiving night against the Saints in 1989, and their miracle 1999 run to their first Super Bowl victory. You can follow him on Twitter @dciapala.
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