Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Sports

March 6, 2013

Lights out on the career of Bills' LB Merriman

(Continued)

BUFFALO —

A series of injuries, however, caught up to him, and he was particularly bothered by a sore right Achilles tendon. It’s an injury that led to the Chargers waiving him during the 2010 season.
The Bills acquired his rights soon after, but Merriman never made it past his first practice in Buffalo after aggravating the injury. He was limited to playing five games in 2011 before being placed on injured reserve to have surgery to repair the partially torn tendon.
Each offseason in Buffalo, Merriman declared himself to be fully healthy, and ready to regain his dominant form.
Last spring, Merriman compared himself to Benjamin Button, the fictional movie character who aged in reverse.
“I feel young,” he said. “Anybody that will get a chance to watch me this year will see I’m moving around as I did when I came into the league.”
By the end, his play never matched his bold pronouncements.
Merriman was limited to 18 games over his final three seasons. And he finished with 45 1/2 career sacks in 75 games, including 59 starts.
Merriman also made headlines for his on- and off-field troubles.
In 2006, he was suspended by the NFL for four games after testing positive for steroids. He blamed the positive test on a tainted supplement, which he never identified. Despite being limited to playing 12 games, Merriman finished with a career-best 17 sacks that season.
In 2009, Merriman was arrested just before the season after reality television star Tila Tequila accused him of battery and false imprisonment at his suburban San Diego home. No charges were filed, and Merriman and Tequila settled dueling lawsuits.
Though it was unlikely the Bills were going to re-sign him, Merriman’s retirement marks the latest change to the team’s defense under new coach Doug Marrone, and new coordinator Mike Pettine.

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