Former All-Pro linebacker Shawne Merriman was hospitalized on Sunday night after suffering a "medical emergency" at a nightclub, which Merriman states was due to dehydration.
Merriman provided more information on the incident to TMZ:
"I didn't feel well and they called the ambulance for me to make sure I was good."
Merriman says he doesn't know who called the ambulance.
We're told the person who called 911 reported that Shawne was "barely conscious."
After Merriman was admitted to the hospital, the ex-NFL star says, "They told me to drink some fluids and sent me on my way."
Andrew Blankstein of the Los Angeles Times originally reported the news:
Retired San Diego Charger and NFL Pro Bowl linebacker Shawne Merriman was rushed to a local hospital Sunday night as a result of what authorities described as a "medical emergency" at a Hollywood club.
Few details were immediately available about the condition of Merriman, who was taken from The Colony in the 1700 block of N. Cahuenga Boulevard to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center around 9:30 p.m., according to law enforcement sources familiar with the incident.
Authorities would not say what prompted the medical call.
Blankstein later reported that the incident could be related to an issue of combining use of alcohol and a drug, though it is unconfirmed:
Retired San Diego Charger and NFL Pro Bowl linebacker Shawne Merriman overdosed Sunday night after ingesting an unspecified combination of alcohol and a drug, sources with knowledge of the case told theTimes.
Merriman later refuted reports that he overdosed on drugs in a statement to TMZ:
That's absurd...if you had a drug overdose, you wouldn't be at a club right after.
Merriman retired in March after an eight-year NFL career, which included stints with the San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills. During this time, he made three Pro Bowl appearances and was named the 2005 Defensive Rookie of the Year.
He was widely regarded as one of the most dangerous pass-rushers in the NFL during his first few seasons in the league. The man they called "Lights Out" for his hard-hitting style finished his career with 45.5 sacks, though 39.5 of them came in his first three seasons.
In 2006, the only year he was first-team All-Pro, Merriman was suspended for four games after testing positive for the anabolic steroid Nandrolone. Despite missing four games that year, he still finished the season with a career-high 17 sacks. While he would never replicate that level of production again in his career, he did post 12.5 sacks in 15 games for the Chargers in 2007.
But in 2008, he tore two ligaments in his knee in the opening game of the season and missed the rest of the year. He never fully recovered after that, failing to replicate his elite level of play from seasons past.
He joined the Bills in 2011, but he played just 15 games for the team in two seasons. In both years, a right Achilles tendon injury cut his season short and was a factor in his eventual retirement.
It was an unfortunate ending to what had started as a very bright career for Merriman.