Shawne Merriman Has Season-Ending Surgery

After looking nothing at all like his usual self on Sunday in a losing effort against the Carolina Panthers, star Chargers OLB Shawne Merriman has backed down from his inexplicable decision to play with two torn ligaments in his knee. He’s decided to undergo reconstructive surgery, ending his season:

Star outside linebacker Shawne Merriman pulled the plug on his 2008 season on Tuesday when he told the San Diego Chargers he’ll have surgery on the two torn ligaments in his left knee….

Merriman’s decision came two days after he barely resembled the player who had an NFL-high 39 1/2 sacks in the past three seasons and played in three straight Pro Bowls….

“Shawne informed me he did not feel right and thought it best to shut it down,” Chargers general manager A.J. Smith said in a statement. “The road to winning the AFC West just got more difficult, but not impossible. Nothing is impossible. Shawne is a great player and an inspirational leader. He will be missed. We wish him a successful surgery and a speedy recovery.”

His decision to play despite his condition (and his coaches’ decision to let him) never made sense. He has another year on his contract, so he can get the surgery this year and still have next year to show he still deserves to be called “Lights Out” to get a fat new contract. Choosing to play this year just increased the likelihood of either worsening the injury or making him miss next year. Or both. Since the sport is better off long term with Merriman playing it, the decision to go ahead and go under the knife now is a welcome one.

Dodd Harris
About Dodd Harris
Dodd, who used to run a blog named ipse dixit, is an attorney, a veteran of the United States Navy, and a fairly good poker player. He contributed over 650 pieces to OTB between May 2007 and September 2013. Follow him on Twitter @Amuk3.


  1. Bill H says:

    after he barely resembled the player

    I don’t know who you are quoting here, but according to the San Diego sports writers he was the dervish of old. Despite the fact that he only made one tackle, they asserted that he was playing at full speed and was harrasing Carolina’s quarterback all day and would have gotten multiple sacks but for that player’s quick release.

    The quote you cited looked more accurate to me, but I don’t get paid big bucks to write columns for a newspaper.

  2. Dodd says:

    Well, that quotation comes verbatim from the linked article on I watched part of the game and it accords with my observations (though I concede he may well have been a dervish when my TV was tuned to one of the other games). More than that I cannot say.