Shawne Merriman's comeback attempt with the Buffalo Bills is over, at least for the 2011 season.
The team placed Merriman on injured reserve Tuesday, ending his season. Merriman's problematic Achilles injury flared up before the team's Week Six game against the New York Giants. Merriman sat that game out, but expressed optimism last week that the just-passed bye week would give him enough time to heal and get back on the field.
It didn't happen.
Coach Chan Gailey hinted that Merriman's availability was in doubt Monday when the Bills returned to practice without the linebacker.
"He's not making the progress we had hoped right now," Gailey said.
"Shawne has worked extremely hard, but unfortunately, his Achilles flared back up and it doesn’t appear that he will be able to return to the field anytime soon,” Bills General Manager Buddy Nix said in a statement released by the team. "So we felt it was in the best interest of our team and for Shawne to put him on IR."
Merriman finishes his 2011 season with nine tackles and just one sack in five games.
UPDATE: "Merriman released the following statement on his website: "Due to the fact that I have recently been experiencing excessive aggravation in my Achilles tendon, which is a limitation that I have been dealing with for well over two years now, I sought the opinions of multiple medical specialists. After much consideration and unanimous professional recommendations stating that my Achilles is in danger of rupturing, I have been advised that it would be in my best interest to undergo surgery as soon as possible in order to prevent a major injury. I would like to thank all of my fans for their continued support on my road to a full recovery and am looking forward to getting back out on the field."
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