Shawne Merriman hurt in first Bills workout

Outside linebacker Shawne Merriman limped off the field minutes into his first Buffalo Bills practice Wednesday.

Merriman hurt himself during the portion of practice open to the media. Buffalo News reporter Mark Gaughan detailed what he saw:

Merriman was participating in a routine position drill with the linebackers, backpedaling and pivoting to the left when he took a hop and walked toward the sideline. Merriman walked over to confer with a trainer, and then walked to midfield and talked with Bills head trainer Bud Carpenter. Merriman walked off the field with a slight limp and went into the trainers' office. It was not clear if Merriman had tweaked his Achilles tendon or his calf.

Merriman, 26, is trying to salvage a career that has been plagued by leg injuries with the San Diego Chargers. He recorded 39.5 sacks his first three NFL seasons but only four since the end of 2007. He played only one game in 2008 and three this year.

Merriman had been battling a left calf injury this year. That essentially wore out the Chargers' tolerance with Merriman. They placed him on injured reserve and then waived him last week.

The Bills, Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers all put in claims for him, but the Bills had priority because of their record.