Merriman to have season-ending surgery

Shawne Merriman informed the San Diego Chargers on Tuesday that he has decided to have surgery on his knee and will miss the remainder of the 2008 season.

Merriman was attempting to play the season on two torn ligaments in his left knee. He revealed last month that he had tears in both the posterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments in the knee, but opted against reconstructive surgery despite the recommendations of four doctors.

“Shawne informed me he did not feel right (on the field) and thought it best to shut it down,” Chargers general manager A.J. Smith said in a statement. “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.”

Merriman, 24, started and recorded one tackle in Sunday’s 26-24 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

The Chargers are expected to place him on the Reserve-Injured list later this week. Second-year LB Jyles Tucker is expected to replace Merriman in the starting lineup. Here’s a look at the San Diego depth chart.

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