Raiders may not face Dumervil in week 4 even if he escapes charges

Elvis Dumervil #92 and Jason Hunter #52 of the Denver Broncos sack Carson Palmer #3 of the Oakland Raiders

Elvis Dumervil, the Denver Broncos' best pass rusher, was arrested in Miami Sunday for felony aggravated assault with a firearm. As yet there have not been any official charges filed against him for the alleged assault and his attorney insists there won't be any charges filed, it may not matter. Dumervil may be punished by the NFL anyway.

This is the second incident of assault involving Dumervil. The first time was in 2010 when he was cited for assault and disturbing the peace in the parking lot of Invesco Field in Denver. Those charges were also dropped. But that may not matter.

There is precedence for such a suspension. Ben Roethlisberger was suspended six games in 2010 after two separate incidents in which he was accused of sexual assault. In neither case was Roethlisberger actually convicted of what he was accused. But that didn't matter to Roger Goodell. The two incidents shines a negative light on the NFL and shows a pattern.

With Roethlisberger receiving six games, it seems well within the realm of possibility that Dumervil could receive at least four games. And that fourth week is when the Raiders meet up with the Broncos for the first time in the 2012 season.

For those of you thinking this is like the Rolando McClain incident, it is and it isn't. The charges are similar. But the repercussions are quite different.

As far as the law is concerned, location has a great deal to do with it. The McClain incident occurred in Alabama where all the charges are misdemeanors. That is why the first trial he had was just in front of a judge. With Dumervil, it happened in Miami city limits where such a charge is a felony. In this case, they skip the trial by judge and proceeding request for trial by jury and the long process that accompanies such a thing.

As far as the league is concerned, this is McClain's first offense. Sure, McClain had a couple of incidents before but they were in college and pre-NFL. This is his first incident since joining the NFL. The commissioner is more inclined to let the process play itself out in the courts before rendering his verdict.

Dumervil has no benefit of the doubt and that could bring the hammer down quickly. Like, before the season starts kind of quickly. And the Broncos will be eager to have Goodell dole out his punishment so they can prepare for not having Dumervil.

The Raiders have done well against the Broncos without Dumervil. They swept them in 2010 while Dumervil was out for the season. He went out early in their week one Monday night matchup with the Broncos in 2011 when he re-aggravated a shoulder injury. The Raiders won that game 23-20 to open the season. The Raiders would lose their midseason matchup against the Broncos, a game in which Dumervil had 1.5 sacks.

That was week eight and it was his first sack of the season. He would finish the season with 9.5 sacks and head to his second straight Pro Bowl.

It would benefit the Raiders greatly not to have to face the Broncos with their best pass rusher. So this is a story that the team will be following closely.

Follow me on Twitter @LeviDamien or befriend me on facebook.

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