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NFL Clears Shanahan in QB’s Injury Lie

September 18, 2003

DENVER (AP) _ Mike Shanahan lied and got away with it.

The Broncos coach was cleared of any wrongdoing Thursday after explaining to league officials why he lied about Jake Plummer’s injury during a game last weekend.

``The key is we’re on the same page and moving forward, so the matter that occurred last Sunday is closed,″ NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. ``We’re satisfied that it is resolved and that Mike understands the policy.″

The league started looking into Shanahan’s actions after he gave a false injury report to CBS during halftime of Sunday’s game against San Diego.

Plummer was injured while diving for a first down midway through the second quarter, but Shanahan told the network that the quarterback sustained a concussion instead of a separated shoulder.

Shanahan came clean after the game, saying he didn’t want the Chargers to have an advantage if backup Steve Beuerlein got hurt. The Broncos had just two quarterbacks at the time.

Rules for reporting in-game injuries aren’t as specific as pregame injuries, but the league didn’t like Shanahan’s deception tactics and said it would look into whether he broke any rules.

Shanahan did not hear from league officials early in the week, so he decided to call NFL executive vice president Roger Goodell to make sure there were no problems.

``If they were going to call me, they were going to call me before today,″ Shanahan said. ``When something’s that big and people are talking about it, I think it’s up to me to address at least what my thoughts were, what I did and why I did it.″

Shanahan said he would protect his team if a similar situation came up again, but he would be a little more subtle about it.

``(I’ll say) we’re not really sure the extent of the injury and we’re going to wait and see, just kind of handle it without talking about something else specifically,″ he said. ``I did it more as of a joke afterward, but it kind of turned into a firestorm. It’s not the first time I’ve gotten myself in trouble.″

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