Cardinals running back Damien Anderson was not driving the SUV he was riding in when it crashed in January, nearly costing him his life, Anderson’s attorney said Tuesday.
"We are cooperating with the Department of Public Safety," said Darrow Saull, a Phoenix-based attorney. "We believe there is significant evidence (Damien) was not behind the wheel. We have provided (DPS) with information that calls into doubt (he was driving)."
DPS is waiting for drug screening test results and an offense report before it decides whether to file charges with the County Attorney’s Office.
Tests on Anderson’s bloodalcohol level by police showed Anderson to be above the legal limit. But tests from that night also failed to produce any identifiable fingerprints from the driver’s side.
Anderson and his two brothers were traveling in the 2000 Ford Expedition when the accident occurred on Interstate 10 near Ray Road. Anderson had his spleen removed and suffered serious damage to his liver and eye socket. Hospital workers told Anderson he almost died — he spent the first 12 days under heavy sedation. He said in a recent interview he had no recollection of the incident.
Anderson’s brothers also underwent surgery. All three are expected to recover, and Anderson should be available when the Cardinals return to voluntary workouts next month.
Saull also took exception to the report the SUV Anderson was in had been reported as driving erratically earlier that night.
"We very much dispute that the attempt-to-locate was the vehicle Damien was in," Saull said.
EXTRA POINT: Vice president of football operations Rod Graves said Tuesday that, at least for now, the Cardinals are not interested in Redskins Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey, a free agent-to-be who has been put on the trading block by Washington.
But Graves said he will meet with Redskins player personnel director Vinnie Cerrato while in Indianapolis this week for the scouting combine to find out what the Redskins want in compensation and what Bailey wants in his new mega-deal contract. Regardless, the Cardinals will be looking for cornerbacks this offseason.
"We have question marks in that area," Graves said. "Duane (Starks) is coming off an injury and (free agent) David Barrett didn’t have as good of a season as we had hoped. Cornerback is a big concern."