Shawne Merriman was supposed to have a bounce-back season for the Buffalo Bills, but that hasn’t happened, and now his comeback year is over. Despite promising to play in Week 8, the 27-year-old linebacker has been placed on injured reserve by the Bills, ending his season.
Merriman has confirmed he will undergo surgery to prevent his injured Achilles’ tendon from rupturing. The Maryland product says he thinks it’s in his best interest to select the surgical option because it would prevent a major injury. Since, you know, having such a painful Achilles’ problem that you’re forced to have surgery on it and miss the final half of a football season doesn’t already constitute a “major injury.”
This is just another in a long line of setbacks for Merriman. He has been limited to just 23 games over the past four seasons and has only had five sacks over that time.
Merriman broke into the NFL in 2005 and immediately looked like a transcendent player. He racked up 39.5 sacks in his first 42 games, was the AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2005, and an All-Pro in each of his first three seasons.
It’s kind of sad to see such a talented guy essentially disappear from the football landscape like this. Maybe it’s because he was using performance-enhancing drugs previously, or maybe, like Bob Sanders, his body just isn’t built to withstand the day-to-day pounding of being an NFL player. Or maybe it’s some combination of the two.
Still, seeing someone who had such a big impact on the NFL and was so much fun to watch essentially disintegrate to an ineffective player is sad to see.