Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Shawne Merriman insists that he's healthy and ready to return to his Pro Bowl levels of production now that the NFL regular season has reached us. While a healthy amount of skepticism remains over his ability to avoid injuries, Merriman is preparing for an opponent that he has caused problems for in the past.
As a former member of division rival San Diego, Merriman - even with all of his missed time factored in - still has played seven career games against the Kansas City Chiefs. In those games, Merriman accumulated 46 tackles, six sacks and a forced fumble. His performances were decidedly mixed, however; half of those six sacks, for instance, came in one game in 2007.
Coming off an injury in 2009, Merriman got to face a Todd Haley-led Chiefs team twice, and was largely ineffective despite Kansas City's 4-12 finish that season. In two games that year, Merriman recorded just six tackles.
Merriman, however, is coming off an excellent pre-season where, in just about a half's worth of action, he recorded six tackles and two sacks. If Merriman's right about his purported return to form, Haley's Chiefs have never played against that version of Merriman. We'll find out Sunday if he's able to replicate the problems he's caused for Kansas City in the past.