"Shawne informed me he did not feel right (on the field) and thought it best to shut it down," said Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith. "The road to winning the AFC West just got more difficult, but not impossible. Nothing is impossible. Shawne is a great player and an inspirational leader. He will be missed. We wish him a successful surgery and a speedy recovery."
While losing a player of Shawne Merriman's caliber certainly hurts the Chargers chances of winning a Super Bowl, it's not nearly the blow that New England suffered when they lost Tom Brady for the year last Sunday.
Shawne tried to give it a go this season, and he earned a lot of respect from the fans. But watching him play against the Panthers, it was clear that 56 was not the same player as last year. Its probably best to have the surgery now anyways; there were plenty of former players pleading with Merriman to not play this season - Rod Woodson and MarcellusWiley were particularily outspoken.
Shawne, if you are reading this, I just want to thank you for what you brought to this team; your relentlessness and passion for the game really inspired fans and helped bring the edge back to the San Diego defense that it lost when guys like Junior Seau and Rodney Harrison left town. In case we never get to see you play in Bolts again (which I HOPE isn't the case!), thanks for the memories man. Hope your recovery goes well.
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