Merriman weighs options after saying knee ligament is damaged
SAN DIEGO -- Linebacker Shawne Merriman, who has missed more than a week of Chargers practice because of a sore left knee, is in the process of trying to figure out when he'll be able to play this season -- if at all.
Merriman said Thursday night that he has ligament damage and is evaluating his options. The trouble is "a loose ligament and [I'm] waiting to get more info on what I need to do," Merriman said in an e-mail to the North County Times.
He also told the San Diego Union-Tribune that he tore the knee's posterior cruciate ligament.
"It's finding out what do I need to fix, what I need to do," Merriman told the Union-Tribune by phone. "If it's left up to me, I want to play football. I can't stand sitting out."
His official medical prognosis is not yet known, but he has visited noted sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews and may see two other doctors to weigh his options.
If the ligament is severely torn, he'll undergo season-ending knee surgery. If the tear isn't significant, Merriman could play through the pain and be ready for Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 7.
Merriman alluded to playing with pain since the end of last season. Surgery has crossed his mind.
A Pro Bowl player in each of his first three NFL seasons, the 24-year-old Merriman underwent surgery to repair cartilage damage five months ago but has had persistent pain in the knee during training camp. He last played in the Aug. 9 preseason opener against Dallas and has not practiced since then.
Chargers coach Norv Turner said Friday he is more concerned with having Merriman on the field for the playoffs than next month's regular-season opener.
"If a guy has a setback and it keeps him out of it for a week or two ... I don't know that anyone will remember that any player missed a week of practice or was dealing with an issue," Turner said Friday after practice.
San Diego would turn to Jyles Tucker if Merriman can't play, but Turner called that idea "way, way, way, way premature."
"We are going to do everything we can to create a situation where [Merriman] is not in pain and the leg gets some strength back," Turner said.
Merriman has an NFL-best 39½ sacks since 2005, when he entered the league.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
TRAINING CAMP 2008
Commentary/featuresWarner proves he has future
The Cardinals gave Kurt Warner the chance to compete with Matt Leinart for the starting spot, and the 37-year-old quarterback made the most of the opportunity. John Clayton
Pennington's learning curve
It seemed the Jets could not help Chad Pennington pack his bags fast enough. Now the most experienced QB on the Dolphins, he's relishing the chance to excel again.
• Kreidler: Future still promising for 49ers' Smith
• Clayton: Injuries impact preseason
• Seifert: A new approach in Detroit
• Smith: Favre drama a reality check for McNabb
• Kuharsky: Titans focused on defense
• Sando: Running key for Holmgren's swan song
• Mosley: Giants hope history teaches well
• Garber: Coughlin distances from SB win
• Williamson: Chiefs engergized by youth
• Chadiha: O-line might hold real keys for Jets
• Wickersham: Three tips for Favre
• Mosley: Giants done with celebrating
• Naylor: Canadian divide on NFL invasion
• Graham: Sleeper Bills | Blog: Yo, Canada
• Seifert: For a change, no distractions for Vikes
• Mosley: McNabb confident Eagles among elite
• Kuharsky: Garrard taking control
• Mosley: Eagles poised to return to prominence
• Clayton: Young on his way to elite status
• Kuharsky: Garrard ready to lead Jags
• Chadiha: Delhomme determined to seize moment
• Yasinskas: Smith's approach suits Falcons
• Mosley: Zorn's coaching desire finally fulfilled
• Williamson: Young Raiders share Kiffin's hunger
• Graham: Jets wiping slate clean
• Chadiha: Turner ready to lead Falcons
• Clayton: Vikings firmly in Jackson's corner
• Walker: Tough schedule awaits Steelers in 2008
• Mosley: Favre is QB turned ringmaster
• Clayton: 5 reasons Favre would start for Pack
• Graham: Patriots not dwelling on past
• Sando: Rams optimistic despite questions
• Williamson: Shanahan points to playoffs
• Walker: Bengals look to move past chaos
• Yasinskas: Delhomme, Peppers must step up
NFL blog network• NFL Nation blog
• AFC: North | South | East | West
• NFC: North | South | East | West
• Contact our bloggers
Camp Confidential training camp tourA breakdown of our annual camp tour:
• Wednesday, July 30: Chargers, Cowboys
• Thursday, July 31: Texans, 49ers
• Friday, Aug. 1: Patriots
• Saturday, Aug. 2: Bengals, Panthers
• Sunday, Aug. 3: Broncos
• Monday, Aug. 4: Rams
• Tuesday, Aug. 5: Steelers
• Wednesday, Aug. 6: Jets
• Thursday, Aug. 7: Raiders | Redskins
• Friday, Aug. 8: Falcons
• Saturday, Aug. 9: Jaguars
• Tuesday, Aug. 12: Eagles | Vikings
• Wednesday, Aug. 13: Bills
• Thursday, Aug. 14: Chiefs
• Friday, Aug. 15: Giants | Seahawks
• Saturday, Aug. 16: Bucs | Lions
• Sunday, Aug. 17: Browns
• Monday, Aug. 18: Titans
Video• NFL Insiders on Bills, Broncos, more
• Rachel Nichols on Favre, Jets
• NFL Live dissects ESPN.com power rankings
Audio• Podcast: Biggest questions
Scouts Inc.• Camp outlook: AFC Q&A on X's and O's
• Camp outlook: NFC Q&A on X's and O's
• Notable quarterback battles