ENGLEWOOD - Denver safety John Lynch wasn’t in the mood to talk about his big hit on San Francisco tight end Billy Bajema last Saturday. Upset about speculation the NFL might punish him, Lynch emphatically said his hit was not illegal. “I think it’s ridiculous people even talk about it,” Lynch said. “If you know the rule it’s ignorant to bring up the situation. It’s a completely legal play. It baffles me people even talk about it.” Lynch hit Bajema at the end of a 16-yard reception in the first quarter, and Bajema staggered to his feet and was checked for a concussion. Lynch hit Bajema with his helmet — television slowed down replays to show the impact — but Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said Lynch will not be fined because Bajema was running with the ball and was not in a defenseless position. “You can hit anybody in the helmet if they’ve got possession of the ball,” Shanahan said. In the NFL rule book, Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8(g) states that a player can’t use his helmet or facemask to “violently and unnecessarily butt, spear or ram an opponent” and game officials are to give “special attention” to protecting players in “virtually defenseless postures.” Because Bajema wasn’t in a defenseless position, Lynch said there was nothing wrong with the hit. “If you know the rules, you don’t write about things like (it being illegal),” Lynch said. NFL spokesman Steve Alic said this week that the league reviews all plays and wouldn’t say if specific attention would be paid to Lynch’s hit. Lynch was fined $75,000 for an illegal hit on Indianapolis tight end Dallas Clark in last year’s regular-season finale. The NFL fined him 10 times more than his previous helmet-tohelmet infractions because it was the fourth time the NFL fined Lynch since 2001 for improper use of his helmet. Lynch sat out of practice Monday and Tuesday because of back spasms. Anderson claimed The Broncos claimed safety Marques Anderson off waivers Tuesday. Anderson started 10 games for Oakland last season after he was acquired from Green Bay for a fifthand sixth-round pick in the 2005 draft. Anderson, a third-round draft pick by Green Bay in 2002, has six career interceptions, including two he returned for touchdowns his rookie season. The Broncos need depth at safety after losing Chris Young to a knee injury and Brandon Browner to a forearm injury. Injury update Cornerback Champ Bailey (hamstring) remained out of practice and his chances of playing this week appear slimmer. Cornerback Roc Alexander (hamstring) practiced. Fullback Cecil Sapp (hamstring), receiver Jerry Rice (personal reasons), defensive tackle Mario Fatafehi (knee), offensive lineman Tyson Clabo (ankle), tight end Nate Jackson (hamstring) and defensive end Courtney Brown (elbow) did not practice.
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