Originally written on Player Perspective  |  Last updated 7/18/12

Buffalo Bills LB Shawne Merriman has had a pretty rough injury history. In 2007, Merriman tore his PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) and his LCL (lateral collateral ligament). Since at least 2008 he’s had on and off painful knee trouble. He’s also suffered a foot injury and last season he had a procedure done on his achilles that ended his season. Every one of these ailments is career-threatening and some people have already given up on Merriman being productive in the league.

I was surprised that the Bills picked him up with the expectation he could and would start, but I’m glad he got another chance. This season will be critical for Merriman because a second season ending injury would likely put his career out of commission. Still, Merriman seems determined and optimistic. He recently released a video where he talks about his come back from injury and his hopes for the new season. He says he feels the best he has in three years.

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The Bills defense is transitioning to a 4-3 and has added superstar DE Mario Williams to a cast of guys who are largely the same core from last year but still with a lot to prove. The Bills really need Merriman to be a three down guy and that obviously will depend a lot on his health. Overall, there’s a nice mix of veterans and young guys on that D and some pretty standout reserves including hybrid DB/LB Bryant Scott who I interviewed last year around the time the Bills were really on a roll. I think the players to watch on the Bills D will be Williams (of course!), DE Mark Anderson, LB Kirk Morrison,  LB Nick Barnett, FS Jairus Byrd and hopefully Merriman whose intense workout session can be seen below.

 

 

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