The San Diego Chargers announced they have placed LB Shawne Merriman on Reserve-Injured with a “minor-injury designation” meaning the team must release him when he is able to play.
Merriman saw limited action in the season’s first five weeks. An Achilles injury forced him to miss the season opener in Kansas City. He saw limited action in Week 2 versus Jacksonville. He suffered a calf injury in Week 3 at Seattle and missed the team’s victory over Arizona in Week 4. He re-injured his calf last week in Oakland.
The Chargers now list four linebackers on Reserve-Injured: Donald Butler, James Holt, Jyles Tucker and Merriman. Linebacker Larry English also has missed three games and is expected to miss two-to-four more weeks.
The hits just keep on coming for the Chargers.
A two game lead 5 weeks into the season doesn’t mean much, but as San Diego continues to struggle putting it all together and the Chiefs schedule starts to look more favorable, Kansas City could look more and more like the favorite to win the AFC West.
Merriman hasn’t been an impact player for a while now, but when you pile losing him on top of all of their other injuries and holdouts, things look pretty bleak in San Diego right now.
Once he is healthy and the team releases him, Merriman is free to sign with any team. Just because it would seem like an Al Davis-type move, my money is on Oakland.
As Michael Lombardi points out, it’s important to remember that by not placing Merriman on normal IR, San Diego will not receive a compensatory draft pick next year when he signs with another team. Another bang up job by AJ Smith.