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Aqib Talib could face a suspension, regardless of legal case

Denver Broncos v Cleveland Browns

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 18: Cornerback Aqib Talib #21 of the Denver Broncos against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on October 18, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. Broncos defeated Browns 26-23. (Photo by Andrew Weber/Getty Images)

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Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib refused to talk on Monday about the circumstances under which he was shot this offseason, saying the matter is “still under review.” That applies to both the criminal investigation of the matter, and a potential NFL investigation.

Talib reportedly told people that he shot himself, and the circumstances in that shooting could result in Talib facing criminal weapons charges. A report in June indicated that Talib could face a charge as serious as a Class 3 felony for carrying a weapon in public without a license into a place that sells alcohol.

NFL discipline is separate, and not necessarily related to a police investigation. The league can suspend a player for violating the league’s personal conduct policy even if he’s never arrested, charged, tried or convicted. If the NFL concludes that Talib was carrying a gun recklessly, it could suspend him regardless of whether police think there’s enough evidence to arrest him.

There seems to be an expectation that Talib will face some league discipline. The Denver Post reported on Friday that the Broncos could be without Talib for the start of the season because of a potential suspension. And Adam Schefter said on 104.3 The Fan that he talked to a source who said Talib could be suspended eight games, although Schefter hastened to add it could be as little as one game.

NFL discipline is inconsistent and impossible to predict, but the Broncos need to be ready to start the season without Talib.