Tom Nalen admits trying to injure Igor Olshansky in 2006

Kevork Djansezian

Tom Nalen admitted to trying to injure Igor Olshansky during a game in 2006 at his Denver Broncos Ring of Fame introduction press conference on Thursday.

Former Denver Broncos offensive linemen Tom Nalen admitted to trying to injure defensive lineman Igor Olshansky in a game against the San Diego Chargers in 2006, according to Yahoo! Sports.

Nalen is a player who didn't say much throughout his NFL career aside from the occasional "no comment," but now that he's retired, all bets are off. When NFL players retire, they're no longer subject to league penalties and things of that nature and, as such, we often get to hear them speak much more freely about a wide variety of things.

Nalen was being introduced as the next member of the Bronco's Ring of Fame, and among the topics covered over his 30 minutes or so of talking, Nalen said that he intentionally tried to injure Olshansky during a game against the Chargers.

"I wanted to blow his knee out on that play because of what happened the play before," Nalen said, "But that, you know, is that dirty? I don't know."

Nalen prefaced that statement by saying he didn't consider himself a dirty player. The play he's referencing came when the Broncos were lining up to spike the ball and stop the clock near the end of the game. Nalen dove into Olshanksky's knee instead of simply standing up, which the rest of the players did.

Olshansky then threw punches at Nalen and was ejected from the game. Nalen was fined $25,000 for the cheap shot and Olshanksy was fined $10,000 for his retaliation when it was all said and done. Nalen justified his actions by suggesting that Olshansky grabbed his facemask on the previous play.

There's not going to be uproar about this or anything, but given the normal definition of "dirty player," Nalen would seem to qualify. Intentionally targeting another player for injury is just bad news, and if Nalen were playing today, he'd be in big trouble for his comments given the league's struggle to maintain the appearance of running a safe league.

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