Hopefully, Shawne Merriman's season is NOT over.
Again, it's important to have some perspective in this whole Peyton Manning-bursa-sac-knee-swelling-maybe-kinda-don't-know drama. Based in small part by the reaction at this and other sites, Mike Lombardi posted this over at his National Football Post blog:
We here at the National Football Post are not interested in spreading stories just to get our name out there or to make a splash in the internet world. We have no interest in that type of reporting. Each of us has personal experience working in the NFL and we understand how unbridled rumor can become a nuisance for teams. We have no desire to involve ourselves in the rumor business. We are in "the fact business" and hope to tell you what is going to occur before it actually happens. The Manning story is not a rumor, it is based on what I heard directly from someone who has intimate knowledge about the details. In fact, I received several calls yesterday from other journalists who had the same or similar story, but were unable to get the type of confirmation I received. So, the Colts can dismiss the story as a blog report if they want — if I were in their PR department, that’s what I would do — but notice that they never actually denied the story. Moreover, since when were the Colts the ones with the pure intentions? Didn’t they hide the severity of Marvin Harrison’s injury in 2007? Let me be clear here: I don’t begrudge them for doing so. Running an NFL team is a business, and like Apple or Ford you want to guard your secrets as closely as possible. Why do you think Manning was rehabbing from home? It is important to the Colts, like it is with many other teams, not to let anyone know their business. As Vito Corleone told Sonny Corleone in the movie The Godfather, "Never tell anyone outside the family what you are thinking." That is the creed to which most NFL teams adhere. So, wrapping up my morning comments on this matter, when we report something here at The National Football Post, it will be based on fact, not hearsay or speculation. That’s not how we roll here.
Again, I'll give Lombardi props for being straight up and addressing allegations that the story is made up. His up front attitude about it is one of the reasons why I haven't dismissed his story outright, unlike Deshawn Zombie at 18 to 88. He also provides a good reason as to why the Colts would lie to the media and fans about Manning's knee. Is it an excuse? No, of course not. Lying to your fans, who just paid $720 million for your new stadium, would be pretty damn cowardly. Again, not saying the Colts have done this, but if they did Lombardi provides believable reasons why they would.
It's also important to note that the Colts are not the only team dealing with injuries. Tom Brady has had a bad foot injury since the AFC Championship game last year. It lingered all throughout the off-season, and it has prevented him from playing in pre-season. He's also had limited practice. Meanwhile, the Chargers may have been dealt a season-killing blow today learning that defensive ace Shawn Merriman has a torn ligament in his knee. He might be done before 2008 even starts. San Diego's QB Philip Rivers is recovering from his own torn ligament, which he sustained against the Colts in the playoffs last year. Rivers had horrible mobility and pocket nimbleness before the injury. Will a torn ligament make him even less mobile?
Photo: NY Daily News
As you can see, for the other great teams in the AFC, they too are dealing with significant injuries.
One more thing on this: Yesterday we had some people come in here and actually cheer that Manning's knee may still be hurt. Of course, those comments were deleted because I have zero tolerance for @ssholes at Stampede Blue. It's important to stress that it is never, ever acceptable here, or anywhere else in the SB Nation football universe, to cheer when a player is hurt. I personally dislike Shawn Merriman because he's a blowhard idiot and an known cheater. That said, I am not happy he is hurt and I hope his knee issue is not as serious as reported. I hope he is able to play in 2008 at a high level and pain-free.
Same for Philip Rivers, who stinks as a QB in my opinion. I think he talks more than he plays, and the only reason he played well against Indy in the playoffs was because Dwight Freeney wasn't killing him. When Rivers played against Indy early in the 2007, he was terrible. Dwight played much of that game. That said, I hope Rivers is 100% healthy for 2008.
No matter how much I dislike someone, I never wish serious injury (or any injury) on anyone. To do so is just acting petty and pathetic. It has no place here. I know many of you share this sentiment with me. So, I'm pretty much preaching to the choir, but it helps to emphasize certain universal things from time to time.