Thoughts on Bills, Shawne Merriman

The Buffalo Bills lost outside linebacker Shawne Merriman for the rest of the season with an Achilles injury.

Here are several thoughts on Merriman and the Bills:

  • Going on the injured reserve for a second-straight year with Buffalo makes you question Merriman's future. Achilles injuries are tough for pass-rushers, who need explosiveness to get to the quarterback. Merriman clearly lost a couple steps from his prime days in San Diego. He had just one sack this season. A team may take a chance on Merriman to see if he has anything left in 2012, but he may have seen his last days in Buffalo.

  • The Bills have been struggling to get to the quarterback and need someone to step up. Youngsters Arthur Moats and Danny Batten have been getting increased playing time in recent weeks. Moats has eight tackles in Buffalo's past two games. Batten recorded five tackles in a recent loss to the New York Giants. Neither have registered a sack. Getting back a healthy Chris Kelsay should add stability to outside linebacker for Buffalo.

  • Overall, it's been a tough, four-year run for Merriman. He was once one of the NFL's most dynamic defensive players. Merriman registered 39.5 sacks from 2005-2007. But multiple injuries to his knee and Achilles stifled Merriman for more than half of his seven-year career. Merriman recorded only five sacks the past four seasons.

Update: Merriman issued a statement to the media through his publicist Tuesday evening:

"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."