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Charger Notebook : Details in Banks Arrest Slowly Emerging

Details on the Chip Banks drug arrest are slowly surfacing, but not everyone is in agreement about the specifics.

Banks, a free-agent linebacker who was the Chargers’ second-leading tackler in 1987, was arrested Friday in Atlanta and charged with possession of marijuana and cocaine and driving without a license.

Efforts to reach Banks and Harold Daniels, his agent, were unsuccessful Monday. Daniels said Saturday that Banks told him the marijuana belonged to his passenger. He said Banks denied any presence of cocaine.

But a spokesman for the Atlanta Police Department said Monday that Banks was alone in the car when he was arrested.

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The Chargers sent Chet Franklin, director of player personnel, from Miami to Atlanta to meet with Banks over the weekend, but Franklin was unable to locate Banks.

Daniels said he saw Banks Saturday morning but that Banks didn’t show up for a meeting scheduled Saturday evening.

One person who did find Banks Monday was Les Miller, the Chargers’ director of college scouting. He reported their talk to Steve Ortmayer, the Chargers’ director of football operations.

Said Ortmayer: “Chip feels he has everything under control, he feels he knows what the story is, and he feels he knows where he stands.

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“As you well know, he has not been around here much this year, he has not been very communicative. He has chosen to not be a part of this team at this point. He has chosen to handle this situation in his own fashion.”

Banks has been released after posting a $3,600 bond. A court appearance has been set for Nov. 2.

The Chargers’ starting quarterback Sunday against Indianapolis will be Mark Malone. He doesn’t necessarily get the start because of his performance against Miami, although Charger Coach Al Saunders was pleased. Malone will start because Babe Laufenberg is doubtful again with injured ribs.

Malone completed 25 of 38 passes for 294 yards and 2 touchdowns against Miami.

“Mark executed extremely well,” Saunders said Monday. “Of the passes that he attempted, maybe 5 were passes that he might like to have back either from a decision standpoint or from a throwing standpoint, and those are pretty high marks. Any time you’re doing that, the success of your offense goes up accordingly.

“We had the greatest success in third-down conversions that we had all year (55%). And because of being able to execute our shorter passing game, our running game became better when we needed it.”

Charger Notes

The injury report: Tight end Arthur Cox (shoulder), running back Curtis Adams (sprained foot), linebacker Keith Browner (shoulder) and linebacker Billy Ray Smith (groin) all are probable for the Indianapolis game. Strong safety Martin Bayless (pulled groin) is doubtful for Indianapolis. . . . Defensive end Leslie O’Neal, who hadn’t played in 22 months after a knee injury, passed his first test Sunday against Miami. He played more than expected (between 25 and 30 plays) and made 1 tackle. “He said he felt good throughout the game,” Saunders said. “He was a little tentative in the first half until he got into the swing of things, and he got stronger in the second half. We’ll monitor his knee this week, and if he’s up to it, he’ll play as many plays this week as he did last week.” . . . Running back Gary Anderson, who has missed the last 2 games, is expected to return Sunday. “He should be OK, but we’ve heard that before,” Saunders said. “He worked out (in Miami) Saturday and Sunday and was about 85 to 90% healthy. Using that as a barometer, he should be ready for this week.” . . . Wide receiver Quinn Early dislocated a finger during pregame warmups in Miami and receiver Darren Flutie dislocated a finger early in the game.

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