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Broncos kicker Matt Prater apologizes for violating alcohol ban, coach John Fox sticks by him

  • Broncos Camp Football-1.jpg

    Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater talks with the media after an NFL football practice in Englewood, Colo., on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider) (The Associated Press)

  • Broncos Prater Suspension Football-2.jpg

    In this photo taken Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014, Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater (5) boots the ball during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Houston Texans in Denver. Prater is facing a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy, according to the Denver Post. The Broncos declined to comment on the report, and neither Prater nor his lawyer, Harvey Steinberg, replied to text messages from The Associated Press early Sunday morning. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey) (The Associated Press)

A contrite Matt Prater apologized to the Denver Broncos and their fans for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy by drinking beer, resulting in a four-game ban to start the season.

Prater's lawyer said the NFL initially sought a yearlong suspension after Prater tested positive for alcohol consumption while on vacation in the offseason.

Prater, the league's top kicker, has been in the NFL's drug program, which includes alcohol, since a DUI arrest on Aug. 12, 2011. He said he realized one more strike meant he'd face sitting out an entire season when he decided to have some beers "right after the season."

The suspension will cost Prater $705,882 in base salary and forces the Broncos to go with Plan B until their Oct. 12 game against the Jets.