Anderson may take legal action vs. NFL

DENVER -- Although disappointed Mike Anderson was suspended
for violating the league's drug policy, Broncos coach Mike Shanahan
didn't necessarily agree the fullback was at fault.

Shanahan didn't go into details, but essentially said he
supported Anderson's claim that his positive marijuana test was a
result of secondhand smoke.

"All I can say is, if Mike were applying for a job in any
organization including yours, and he took a test it would have been
negative," Shanahan said Wednesday. "Now is that fair? I'm going
to let them take it up with the lawyers and talk about his

Anderson was suspended Tuesday for four games by the league for
violating the league's substance abuse policy. Anderson said the
positive test came from secondhand smoke and the amount of
marijuana found in his system would not been considered illegal in

Anderson's lawyer said he is looking into legal action against
the NFL for penalizing players not involved in improper drug usage.

"I can't get into all the details I would like to at this time
because he's got an attorney and he feels very strongly about his
position right now,'' Shanahan said. "Not many people take on the
NFL. I'm not sure if Mike's going to do that or his lawyer is going
to do that, but they feel they have a very strong case."

Anderson's suspension comes at a difficult time for Denver.

The Broncos have been hit hard by injuries, losing two starting linebackers and backup quarterback Steve Beuerlein for the season
just in the past month. Denver has lost four of its past five games
after a 4-1 start.

Things were looking up this week with the possible returns of
quarterback Jake Plummer and left tackle Ephraim Salaam, but the
loss of Anderson takes away some of the steam.

"It's a very, very serious blow for us because we count on Mike
from a fullback standpoint and from a special teams standpoint,"
tight end Shannon Sharpe said. "The timing couldn't have come at a
worse time, but it is what it is and we'll deal with it."

The Broncos weren't about to abandon one of the team's most
popular players. Plummer said he's going to support Anderson no
matter what, sentiments echoed by Sharpe.

"Mike is a great guy. That doesn't diminish anything, any views
that I have of Mike Anderson," Sharpe said. "People make mistakes
in life, and it's very bad that we live in a very public society,
he's a very public person and some of his laundry has to be