DENVER — Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater apologized to fans Monday saying he “screwed up” when he violated the terms of an alcohol abuse program.
Prater was on an alcohol-abuse program, which he enrolled in after a 2011 DUI conviction.
His attorney said Prater failed a recent test after “consuming a couple beers at home while on vacation.”
“I want to apologize to Broncos fans,” Prater said. “It’s no one’s fault but my own.”
According to one report, the NFL originally threatened a full one-year suspension for Prater, but settled on four games.
Prater admitted Monday that the suspension has impacted his game, but he hopes to overcome it.
He said he learned of the suspension the night before the Broncos loss to the Houston Texans.
“I’m definitely going to make some changes in my life,” he said. “Not drink at all. Not go to places where people are drinking.”
The 30-year-old Prater broke the NFL record for longest field goal last season, making a kick from 64 yards against the Tennessee Titans.
He also set an NFL record with 75 extra points in 2013, and owns and impressive 81.6 conversion percentage on field goal attempts since he came into the league seven years ago, including last season when he went 25-for-26 on field goal attempts.
The Broncos invited kicker Mitch Ewald to training camp this season, and the undrafted rookie from Indiana has made five extra points and a 22-yard field goal this preseason. It was unclear as of Sunday if the Broncos would attempt to sign a veteran kicker in the wake of Prater’s suspension.