Chargers Appear to Pass Test on Steroids : Henning Doesn't Expect Any Problems When Results Come Out Today

Times Staff Writer

Monday was the day the Chargers found out from the National Football League whether any of their players had tested positive for steroids.

"I don't think we have any problems there," Charger Coach Dan Henning said after the morning practice. That was confirmed by the end of the day when the Chargers heard from the league.

"It looks favorable," Henning said after the afternoon practice.

"Very favorable," said Steve Ortmayer, the team's director of football operations.

Club personnel for all teams were asked by the league not to confirm or deny whether they had any positive tests on their teams. Then the league put the teams in a tough position when it said the total number of players testing positive was about 20. That, according to one league official, was "much lower than anybody expected."

The NFL said it would release the names of players who tested positive this morning. But it didn't want the teams that were clean of steroids to say so until that release.

Originally, the league was going to release the names of the positive testers Monday. But it delayed the announcement a day after the NFL Players Assn. tried unsuccessfully to obtain a temporary restraining order barring the league from releasing the names.

Players who tested positive will be suspended for a month.

Henning said quarterback Jim McMahon probably will play half of the team's final exhibition game Friday night at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium against the Phoenix Cardinals.

"Which half," Henning said, "I don't know."

Burt Grossman, the Chargers' first-round draft pick, reported Friday and is trying to catch up with the rest of his teammates after missing more than a month of practices.

"He looks quick and rangy," Henning said. "But he sometimes gets frustrated because he doesn't know what he's doing yet. He'll get over it."

Grossman, a defensive end, will play against Phoenix. "I hope he plays a good deal," Henning said. "Whatever he's capable of taking, I think he'll play."

No. 40 was at practice for the Chargers Monday morning. But it wasn't unsigned free agent Gary Anderson, the team's leading rusher last year. It was Beau Ortmayer, wearing Anderson's jersey with the name "Ortmayer" where the Chargers wished "Anderson" would be.

Beau Ortmayer is the 9-year-old son of Steve Ortmayer. The younger Ortmayer took his role seriously, even though no one else did. He had his ankles taped before practice.

Charger Notes

Running back Lionel James, cut by the Chargers Saturday, was claimed by the Kansas City Chiefs. Look for kicker Vince Abbott, also cut by the Chargers Friday, to get a long look from the Phoenix Cardinals. . . . The Chargers, who are down to 69 players on their roster, must reduce that number to 60 today by 1 p.m. The latest cuts were linebacker Jeff Jackson and offensive lineman Eric Floyd. The Chargers might place linebacker Keith Browner on the retired list. Until then, he still counts on the team's active roster. . . . After hearing teammates call veteran linebacker Jim Collins "old man," Charger Coach Dan Henning asked linebacker Billy Ray Smith what that made him (Henning). Smith's reply: "The older man." Collins is 31. Henning is 47. . . . Defensive lineman Bob Buczkowski missed practice with a sore back. He hurt the back Saturday and didn't practice Sunday. . . . Nose tackle Mike Charles has returned to practice after minor arthroscopic surgery followed by several sessions in the Chargers' conditioning room. "Did you see Mike Charles?" Henning said. "He looks like a tight end. I ought to send 'em all in the conditioning room for a week. Imagine that, a guy looking trimmed up at 298 (pounds)."

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