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    Tuesday, April 23, 2024

    Bills GM says edge rusher Von Miller to practice and play while facing domestic violence charge

    FILE - Buffalo Bills linebacker Von Miller reacts during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. Miller has turned himself in to police in a Dallas suburb after he was charged in a warrant with domestic violence against the mother of his children, who is pregnant. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

    Orchard Park, N.Y. — Though shaken by Von Miller being charged with domestic violence, general manager Brandon Beane and the Buffalo Bills proceeded cautiously on Wednesday in awaiting the legal process to play out before rushing to judgement or discipline.

    For now, the NFL's active leader in sacks and two-time Super Bowl winner will continue practicing and is expected to suit up on Sunday, when Buffalo (6-6) travels to play at the Kansas City Chiefs (8-4). And that will remain the Bills' approach until more information surfaces from either a Dallas police or NFL investigation into allegations of Miller assaulting the mother of his children, who is pregnant.

    "No one wants their name associated with any accusation like that, so that's a natural disappointment. I'm sure he's disappointed," Beane said. "But things happen sometimes, and again, we have to remember people, we have to give them their fair due process. That can happen to anyone in this room. And I would hope we would all wait and let that play out before we rush to judgement."

    Beane spoke for the team as the Bills returned from their bye week, and a week after Miller turned himself in to police in a Dallas suburb after being charged in a warrant with domestic violence. Miller faces a charge of third-degree felony assault of a pregnant woman, which is punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He is free after posting a $5,000 bond.

    The woman and Miller have been in a relationship for seven years and have children together.

    Beane said the Bills are following the NFL's lead. In calling the allegations serious, he said they seemed "out of character" for a person he has come to know over the past year and a half since signing Miller in free agency.

    In Dallas, the district attorney's office informed The Associated Press that it had no updates on the investigation since Miller turned himself in, a day after the alleged assault occurred on Nov. 29. According to a police affidavit which officers wrote, Miller twice put his hands on the neck of the woman, pulled out a chunk of her hair and threw her onto a couch. The woman was treated for minor injuries, including bruising on her neck, police said.

    The NFL issued a statement on Wednesday saying it continues gathering information and following all legal developments.

    Miller, wearing a gray sweatsuit with its hoodie pulled over his head, did not address reporters as he walked off the practice field and headed into an off-limits area of the team's facility.

    Coach Sean McDermott said Miller did not practice because of a previously scheduled rest day for a player who is still being eased back since having surgery a year ago to repair a right knee injury. McDermott said the 34-year-old is set to practice fully on Thursday.

    "It's a very, very serious situation. There's no ifs, ands or buts about it," McDermott said. "It's a very, very serious situation, and something that we don't take lightly."

    The woman told police she was six weeks pregnant and showed them a photograph of a positive pregnancy test and a screenshot of a text conversation with Miller in which they discussed the possible due date of the child and a doctor visit. She told police she recorded some of the attack and, when she threatened to call police, he left.

    Bills center Mitch Morse was supportive of his teammate, but understood why the allegations would be troubling.

    "It's tough because I have a very personal relationship with Von that's very nice. He's been a very generous teammate, a great teammate to me and I got nothing but great things to say," Morse said.

    "I know some people might not feel that way. And that's not for me to deter or to tell people how to feel, whether it's in the building, outside the building," he added. "I completely understand how everyone feels about this."

    Beane acknowledged how the Bills backing Miller left the team open to criticism.

    "We're just trying to to do the right thing, and you're never going to make 100% of people happy," Beane said. "If we went the other way and said he can't play, there'd be people upset about that, too."

    Beane said he's discussed what happened with Miller and his representatives and preferred keeping those conversations private. Beane said he has also been in contact with the NFL and doesn't anticipate Commissioner Roger Goodell placing Miller on the exempt list.

    In the past, players aren't placed on the commissioner's exempt list until formal charges are filed by a prosecutor or through the findings of a grand jury, or when the league's own investigation concludes there was a potential violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy.

    The Bills are Miller's third team over his 13-year career that began with Denver. He won a Super Bowl with the Broncos to close the 2015 season, and his second title came during the 2021 season, months after being traded to the Los Angeles Rams.

    He then signed with the Bills the following offseason. Miller leads active players in his 19th overall season with 123 1/2 career sacks. Miller is a popular and highly visible player, he has appeared in television commercials for brands including Old Spice and Progressive.

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