Lights Out for Merriman in San Diego
Ever since being drafted in 2005 and shutting out the lights on opposing quarterbacks early in his career, Shawne Merriman's lights were shining brightly.
But now after injuries and celebrity lifestyle have hindered him over the past few seasons, the San Diego Chargers are shutting out the lights on him.
How the mighty have fallen.
Merriman, the outside linebacker who had major impact in his first three NFL seasons with the Chargers, amassing a total of 39 1/2 sacks during that time frame of 2005-20007. Since 2008, due to nagging injuries, he's only totaled four since. The Chargers have put him on the injured reserve list and labeled a "minor injury designation", meaning that once he is healthy, the team can release him.
Even if he is released, San Diego could re-sign him, but general manager A.J. Smith has felt that Merriman's celebrity lifestyle has taken away from his focus of football and getting healthy, and head coach Norv Turner was reported stating that the team needs guys on the field. He's suffered injuries on his Achilles' and calf this season.
The beginning of the end for Merriman was when the Chargers drafted Larry English in the 2009 NFL Draft in the first round. English only had two sacks in his rookie season, but injured his foot, and it required surgery. He's missed three games already this season and is expected to miss 2-4 more. The Chargers have signed Antwan Barnes to take the spot of Merriman. Barnes played with the Baltimore Ravens in 2009, then was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for a seventh round draft pick. He was released by them on Sunday.