Updated 5:48 p.m. ET
The Bills have placed OLB Shawne Merriman on injured reserve, once again ending the season early for the former Pro Bowl linebacker.
Merriman started five games for the Bills this season, registering one sack. He has battled Achilles injuries the past few seasons, and once again, the pain in his leg was too much to play through. This season marks the fourth time in five years he has been placed on I.R. He recorded two sacks in the team's first preseason game.
"Shawne has worked extremely hard, but unfortunately, his Achilles flared back up and it doesn't appear that he will be able to return to the field anytime soon," Bills GM Buddy Nix said in a statement. "So we felt it was in the best interest of our team and for Shawne to put him on IR."
Merriman also issued a statement, saying, "Due to the fact that I have recently been experiencing excessive aggravation in my Achilles tendon, which is a limitation that I have been dealing with for well over two years now, I sought the opinions of multiple medical specialists. After much consideration and unanimous professional recommendations stating that my Achilles is in danger of rupturing, I have been advised that it would be in my best interest to undergo surgery as soon as possible in order to prevent a major injury. I would like to thank all of my fans for their continued support on my road to a full recovery and am looking forward to getting back out on the field."
The way we see it
This may be tough news for Merriman, but it shouldn't hurt the Bills' defense too much. Merriman was counted on to spark a dormant pass rush, and that hasn't worked. He was ineffective on the field for the most part. This will allow second-year OLBs Danny Batten and Arthur Moats to get more snaps. Both players have showed promise with pass-rushing abilities.