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.