2011 NFL Predictions: Shawne Merriman Will Return to Dominant Form for Bills

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2011 NFL Predictions: Shawne Merriman Will Return to Dominant Form for Bills
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

When the San Diego Chargers released linebacker Shawne Merriman in 2010 after being sidelined with a foot injury, he was quickly snapped up by the Buffalo Bills.

Many thought this signaled the end of what was a very dominant career in his five years in the NFL. But now, it seems like he is primed for a resurgent season.

Merriman, whose seasons of stunning highs while with the Chargers were marred by injuries, off-field incidents, and defensive restructuring, spent 2010 on injured reserve and did not play for the Bills last season.

But, this preseason, he is already making an impact.

In Week 1 against the Chicago Bears, Merriman had three tackles and two of the team's nine sacks. While he did not play against the Denver Broncos in Week 2, he is back to practicing full time and should be on the field when the Bills take on Jacksonville on Saturday.

He is joined by linebackers Nick Barnett and Kirk Morrison, who signed with Buffalo yesterday and credits Merriman's persistence as the reason why he took the deal, and looks poised to be the anchor of a defense yet again.

With Buffalo fans not having much to be excited about this season, Merriman's impressive preseason, coupled with his fellow linebackers, should give Buffalo fans something to be excited about in 2011.

Merriman's days as "Lights Out" are certainly nowhere near finished; look for him to add another dominant year to his already impressive playing resume.

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