Giant "Shock" For The Chargers: Merriman Out For Season

Nick LutkenhouseContributor ISeptember 9, 2008

The San Diego Chargers have confirmed that star outside linebacker Shawne Merriman has elected to go through with season ending surgery.  He had gotten opinions from 4 doctors, all of which told him to go through with the surgery before playing in Sunday's surprise last second loss against the Panthers in which he barely resembled a linebacker who has starred in 3 straight Pro Bowls and recorded 39 1/2 sacks in the past 3 years.

He is considered to be the staple-point of the Chargers defense which was expected to help the Chargers succeed in the playoffs and by many analysts get to the Super Bowl. What is to be expected from the Chargers now? Well their loss to Carolina has raised questions as it is and a loss of such a leader is never good news, but the Chargers still have a potent offense and last I checked Tomlinson is still running the ball.  Expect them to come out like whipped dogs looking to regain dignity and whose to say they can't do it.

For the time being however it looks like the change in balance of power in the NFL is truly shaping up.  With the Patriots loosing their golden boy in Brady, Colts having internal issues, and now Chargers without Merriman perhaps the doors are wide open for teams like Pittsburgh to get a few more wins now and the Wild Card race should be a good one with the Browns, Jags, Titans, and Buffalo all on the rise.  The Titans could be a question mark now as well without Young but Kerry Collins is a decent QB and if they play right perhaps the passing game wont be such a factor.

One thing is for sure, this season has seen its fair share of injuries already and it's only the first week!