Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson, the team's first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, will need shoulder surgery at some point - likely after his 2016 season ends - that could keep him out of action for 4-6 months, according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter.
New Bills' DE Shaq Lawson will need shoulder surgery that sidelines him 4-6 months at some point, probably after next season, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 29, 2016
Speaking with Bills beat reporters after the team selected him at No. 19 overall, Lawson disclosed that the injury happened to his right shoulder as a freshman, and that it hasn't bothered him since. NFL teams flagged the injury during medical checks at the Combine in February, which caused him to have to go back last month for a re-check.
Shaq Lawson tells #Bills media that right shoulder injury happened in freshman year & hasn't given him a problem since.— Vic Carucci (@viccarucci) April 29, 2016
Lawson also disagreed strongly with Schefter's report that he'll need surgery to repair the issue.
Shaq Lawson says there's "no truth whatsoever" to @AdamSchefter report that Lawson needs shoulder surgery.— Tim Graham (@ByTimGraham) April 29, 2016
Before Lawson spoke with reporters, Bills general manager Doug Whaley met with the press to discuss the team's selection. When asked about Schefter's report and the apparent looming surgery for the top pick, Whaley brushed aside the concerns, saying that the team's medical staff had cleared Lawson to play. (He then named him a starter for the 2016 season.)
Whaley on Lawson's shoulder: Medical staff cleared him and said he can play. "There's nothing we're worried about."— Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) April 29, 2016
It's safe to say that Lawson will be playing (a lot) for the Bills in 2016, but don't be surprised if he wears a brace, and then has surgery next winter.