Buffalo Bills' Shawne Merriman Appears Ready To Return To Practice

PITTSFORD, NY - AUGUST 08: Shawne Merriman #56 of the Buffalo Bills takes a break during the Buffalo Bills Training Camp at St. John Fisher College on August 8, 2011 in Pittsford, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Buffalo Bills defensive end Shawne Merriman was one of just two players not present at One Bills Drive for the start of the team's voluntary OTAs. That's because, as head coach Chan Gailey would later explain, Merriman was visiting with his doctor to get final medical clearance to participate.

As it turns out, Merriman got that clearance, and tweeted about it late Tuesday afternoon. It's looking like he'll be on the field when the team returns to the practice field on Thursday.

Merriman is coming off of in-season Achilles surgery that landed him on Injured Reserve last October, limiting his season to just five games. That means that he's appeared in five of a possible 24 games since joining the Bills as a waiver wire addition in the middle of the 2010 season. He's been the subject of rave reviews regarding his health this off-season, and his return to the field in May is a step in the right direction.

We're interested to see what Merriman's return to the practice field does to the defensive end rotation. It's unlikely that he'll unseat either of the team's two current starters, Mario Williams and Chris Kelsay. Mark Anderson will be a mainstay on the second unit (unless he and Kelsay split reps there), so Merriman could push Spencer Johnson out of the other spot with that unit.

Johnson could then move down to third-team defensive end, where he'd be part of a rotation. Or he could kick inside and play defensive tackle, his more natural position, either with the first team (in place of Dwan Edwards) or with the second team (in place of either Kellen Heard or Alex Carrington).

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Buffalo Rumblings

You must be a member of Buffalo Rumblings to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Buffalo Rumblings. You should read them.

Join Buffalo Rumblings

You must be a member of Buffalo Rumblings to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Buffalo Rumblings. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker