Broncos release safety Lee Flowers

Updated: October 6, 2003, 4:57 PM ET

DENVER -- The Denver Broncos released safety Lee Flowers on Monday, one week after he returned from a four-game suspension for failing a drug test.

Flowers was activated after Denver's game against Detroit on Sept. 28, but the Broncos had a week to decide whether to put him on the 53-man roster.

Coach Mike Shanahan said he decided to cut Flowers because Nick Ferguson played well both as a backup and in place of injured starter Kenoy Kennedy against Kansas City on Sunday.

Ferguson and second-year safety Chris Young also play on special teams.

"We're going to stay with the safeties we have," Shanahan said. "I'm sure Lee will get picked up and play well. He's a good football player. I liked the way he handled himself, but right now he wouldn't be our first or second player."

Flowers signed with Denver in June, even though the team knew he tested positive for ephedra. He said the positive test came from a vitamin that didn't include the stimulant on its list of ingredients.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index