TORONTO ON - NOVEMBER 07: Shawne Merriman of the Buffalo Bills stands on the field prior to play against the Chicago Bears at Rogers Centre on November 7 2010 in Toronto Canada. Merriman was claimed this week after being waived by the San Diego Chargers. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
In the "Things I Didn't Use To Know" section of his Sunday Blitz this weekend on National Football Post, Dan Pompei wrote that with Mario Williams requesting to play left defensive end, the Buffalo Bills' speed rushers would be competing on the right side of Buffalo's line. Pompei also shared some news he had on one of those speed rushers, with a report on Shawne Merriman's recovery.
Merriman has been battling leg injuries for the better part of his two seasons in Buffalo. He had surgery last October to hopefully correct a lingering Achilles problem once and for all. On top of all that, the Bills will be asking him to switch to 4-3 defensive end after playing 3-4 outside linebacker for his entire career. Pompei notes that Mark Anderson will be competing to be the team's speed rusher, as well.Even with the problems in his way, off-season optimism has crept into Merriman's prognosis, according to Pompei, who writes: "Merriman, by the way, has gotten outstanding reviews in his comeback attempt from an Achilles injury, and looks like he will be able to help the Bills if he can stay healthy."
Still, those last five words seem to continue following Merriman. He has played in five of a possible 29 games for the Bills since he was added on the waiver wire during the 2010 season. He's logged just 23 games in his team's last 64 dating back to the 2008 season with the San Diego Chargers, his first non-Pro Bowl season.
Merriman won't be asked to carry the load for the Bills pass rush as they've added Anderson and $100 million worth of Williams to do that, but it would be nice if he could contribute something for the $10.5 million contract he signed last January.