Taylor may sue Cosell for drug-test comments

November 03, 1990

New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor said yesterday that he may take legal action against sportscaster Howard Cosell for suggesting on a radio talk show that Taylor has cheated on National Football League drug tests.

Cosell said Thursday while a guest on Bill Mazer's show on WFAN in New York that Taylor "has fresh vials of Bible Belt urine," a suggestion that Taylor might be substituting his urine with someone else's to pass the league's drug test. Under the NFL's substance-abuse policy, athletes are required to give urine samples during random checks. Taylor has failed the test twice, and a third violation would result in his being banned from the league for life.

Cosell said yesterday that his comments were made in jest.

"It's a joke. Everything was a joke," he said when reached by telephone. "Anything I said was right out of Lawrence Taylor's own book."

In his book, "LT: Living On The Edge," published two years ago, Taylor acknowledged that vials of his teammates' urine were sometimes submitted as his own.

* REDSKINS: Cornerback Brian Davis suffered a slightly pulled calf muscle in practice, and wide receiver Gary Clark was held out of practice with a tender quadriceps muscle, but trainer Bubba Tyer said he thought both will be able to play tomorrow against the Detroit Lions.

The Redskins are expected to activate defensive lineman James "Jumpy" Geathers today and put Tracy Rocker on injured reserve. Geathers has missed 10 months of action since suffering a knee injury while playing for the New Orleans Saints in December.

* SAINTS: Superior Court Judge John Zebrowski in Los Angeles refused to exempt former New Orleans quarterback Bobby Hebert from the NFL's free-agent guidelines, ruling that the question of the legality for protected players was an issue for a federal court to decide, not a state court. Hebert is suing the NFL and the Los Angeles Raiders for abiding by what he says are illegal free-agent rules.

* BRONCOS: Tight end Clarence Kay suffered a knee injury during a routine pass drill Thursday, and trainer Steve Antonopulos said Kay appeared to have suffered a torn cartilage in his right knee that might require arthroscopic surgery to repair. If so, he probably would be sidelined at least two weeks.

* STEELERS: Offensive tackle Tunch Ilkin dislocated his left elbow in practice and will be out of action indefinitely. He had started a team-high 51 straight games.

* CARDINALS: Wide receiver J.T. Smith may sit out tomorrow's game with the Miami Dolphins because of a sprained right ankle. Coach Joe Bugel plans to start Ernie Jones in Smith's spot.

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