All-Pro linebacker Von Miller donned a scout team skullcap over his helmet Wednesday and spent much of practice helping the Denver Broncos prepare to play more than a third of the season without him.
Miller was part spectator, part tutor when he wasn't squaring off against Pro Bowl left tackle Ryan Clady as a member of Denver's scout team in his first practice since the NFL handed him a six-game suspension for violating the league's drug-abuse policy.
Nate Irving took his place at strongside linebacker in the base defense alongside Danny Trevathan and Wesley Woodyard, and Shaun Phillips replaced him at rush end in the nickel packages as the Broncos began working on Plan B following the NFL's verdict.
''I don't know that one guy can take Von's place,'' coach John Fox said. ''I just know collectively as a football team we have to all pick it up.''
It was a cloud that hung over the team all of camp. Now, at least, the Broncos ...