Just as we spent the afternoon discussing the recurring Achilles injury for Shawne Merriman, the Buffalo Bills announced Tuesday afternoon that they'd placed Merriman on Injured Reserve, ending his 2011 season after just five games.
Merriman dealt with a shoulder injury early in the season, and was given plenty of reps off after the team tried to get him into football shape. His pre-existing Achilles injury, however, flared up in a Week 5 win over Philadelphia, and progress in healing from that injury was sufficiently slow that his season is now over. He finishes the year with nine tackles and a sack.
By our count, Merriman has appeared in 23 games in his last four seasons. Merriman signed a two-year contract in January that lasts him through the 2012 season, but there's at least a decent chance that GM Buddy Nix and head coach Chan Gailey pull the plug on the Merriman experiment after the season. Time will tell how many of the incentives in his lucrative, incentive-laden contract Merriman earned; it's tough to imagine he'll have earned much beyond his base salary for his 2011 efforts.