Originally written on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/20/14

SAN DIEGO - SEPTEMBER 20: Shawne Merriman #56 of the San Diego Chargers walks off the feild during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Qualcomm Stadium on September 20, 2009 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jacob de Golish/Getty Images)
Linebacker Shawne Merriman was cleared to return practice and was on the field at the Bills' OTA session Thursday. It's a big step for Merriman, who has battled three years of injuries, including early-season surgery to repair his Achilles' tendon in 2011. When the Bills took to the practice field Tuesday, Merriman was in Birmingham, Ala. visiting with Dr. James Andrews. "I got final clearance to go out and participate with everything. I was hoping for good news and I got it," Merriman said. "It was the first day of practice for me anyway in a long time. I had a lot of time off. I got a chance to go back out there with the guys and put on a helmet again." Merriman is under contract for one more season, but it's an encouraging sign that he's able to participate this early in the offseason program. Merriman said he really hasn't been healthy for three years, and has been playing through the pain while lacking the ability to push off - when he's been able to get on the field. ...
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