Achilles' injury KO’s Bills LB Merriman
The lights have been turned off on Bills linebacker Shawne Merriman’s season.
Merriman, who earned the nickname “Lights Out’’ when he was one of the NFL’s most feared players, was placed on season-ending injured reserve yesterday because of a right Achilles’ tendon injury. It’s the same injury that forced the Bills to place him on IR last November after they signed him as a free agent following his release from the Chargers.
“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. “We felt it was in the best interest of our team and for Shawne to put him on IR.’’
After being bothered by a nagging shoulder injury for the past month, Merriman’s Achilles’ suddenly became a problem on the Thursday before the Bills’ 27-24 loss to the Giants. Merriman missed that game, but he expressed confidence that he’d be able to return and not miss any significant time when the Bills came back from the bye.
A three-time Pro Bowler, Merriman finishes the season with nine tackles and one sack in five games. Coming into the season, he had 43 1/2 sacks in 60 career games - but only four sacks from 2008-10.
Dolphins sign Losman
The Dolphins’ revolving door at quarterback spun anew when the team placed Sage Rosenfels on the reserve-non-football illness list and signed J.P. Losman, who last completed a pass in 2008. A blood disorder sent Rosenfels to the hospital in August, and he said in a statement that he hasn’t fully recovered . . . The Colts placed QB Kerry Collins on IR with a concussion. Collins started three games and went 48 of 98 for 481 yards with two TDs and one interception. Indianapolis also placed fullback Chris Gronkowski on IR because of a torn pectoral muscle . . . The Buccaneers placed Earnest Graham on IR after the running back tore his right Achilles’ tendon in Sunday’s loss to the Bears. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry this season, finishing with 206 yards on 37 attempts. He also had 26 receptions for 163 yards . . . The Falcons will be without fullback Ovie Mughelli for the rest of the season after he suffered a right knee injury Sunday.
No shows for T.O.
Terrell Owens’s workout was watched by two television networks but no NFL teams. The 37-year-old free agent wide receiver participated in some drills and caught passes in Calabasas, Calif., in a showcase televised by ESPN and NFL Network. He told ESPN, “I definitely feel there are some teams out there that are interested.’’ Agent Drew Rosenhaus said on Twitter that he will be contacting teams to tell them Owens “is immediately available to visit and work out for them. He could play this Sunday!’’ . . . The Vikings waived wide receiver Bernard Berrian, who was on the inactive list for two of the last three games. Berrian is a vested veteran, so the Vikings must pay him all of his $1.9 million salary unless another team claims him . . . The Texans signed safety Quintin Demps to add depth after Danieal Manning suffered a broken left fibula, and waived receiver/kick returner Trindon Holliday.
Vikings’ Cook charged
Vikings cornerback Chris Cook was charged with trying to strangle his girlfriend, leaving her with a bloody nose and lip in an alleged attack that jeopardizes his status with the team. Cook was charged with felony domestic assault by strangulation, which carries a penalty of up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Cook, 24, was arrested early Saturday and released from custody yesterday on $40,000 bail. He is barred from contact with the alleged victim and cannot leave Minnesota, which would prevent him from traveling with the Vikings to Sunday’s game at Carolina. Cook has a court appearance set for today . According to the complaint, Cook became upset early Saturday when he found out his girlfriend of 10 months had spoken to an ex-boyfriend. Cook’s attorney, David Valentini, told reporters his client was “of course’’ remorseful. Cook apologized on his Twitter account to the fans, Vikings ownership and the coaching staff, his teammates and friends and family and said, “There’s always two sides to a story!!’’ . . . Ravens coach John Harbaugh refused to assign blame to individuals after Monday’s 12-7 loss to the Jaguars in which Baltimore converted only two of 12 third-down opportunities and managed only 146 yards, including a fanchise-record low 16 in the first half. “No excuses. It has to be a lot better. Not even close to the way we’re capable of performing on offense,’’ he said. Ray Rice gained only 28 yards on eight carries. Without calling out offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, Harbaugh did say, “[Rice has] got to get more than eight carries.’’ Harbaugh was asked if Cameron deserved much of the blame. “It’s warranted for all of us,’’ he replied. “We all deserve to have fingers pointed at us when the offense plays like that.’’