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Shaq Lawson injury: conflicting accounts emerge on surgery decision

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Who decided that the Bills first rounder would have surgery?

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

There are conflicting accounts on the decision regarding rookie Shaq Lawson undergoing surgery for his ailing shoulder. We'll do our best to clear the air, but it's unlikely we'll ever hear someone admit they misspoke.

Initially, the Buffalo Bills said it was the team's medical staff that decided Lawson needed surgery, and general manager Doug Whaley's media tour confirmed it.

“The Buffalo Bills are taking measures to prevent the possibility of Shaq Lawson aggravating a pre-existing shoulder condition during the season," said the team's statement. "While he could continue to play, the Bills medical staff has determined that surgery is the best course of action for the overall health of his shoulder moving forward.

“I want to take this opportunity to commend Shaq Lawson and his representatives for putting the team first by having this surgery on his shoulder done now,” Whaley added. “By doing so, he’s forsaking personal goals to be 100 percent healthy when we will need him most during the regular season."

Seems pretty straightforward. Lawson injures himself in rookie minicamp. Bills staff tells him to fix it with surgery, and he plays the good soldier. That is, until you read Vic Carucci's account of the decision-making in this weekend's The Buffalo News.

"I think the Bills were hoping against hope that Lawson would push through this year as best as possible, but at some point during rookie minicamp, he came to the realization that what he was able to do successfully in college just might not work as well in the NFL," wrote Carucci. "He saw the operation as being better for his chances of living up to lofty expectations. The Bills had no choice but to go along with his wishes."

So which was it? Was it the team's medical staff making the final call on the surgery, or the player? Either way, the surgery is already done, and Lawson is expected to miss a significant portion of the first half of his rookie season.