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Merriman will have season-ending surgery

September 10, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Star outside linebacker Shawne Merriman ended his 2008 season Tuesday when he told the San Diego Chargers he will have surgery on the two torn ligaments in his left knee.

Merriman's decision came two days after the Chargers lost to the Carolina Panthers in a game in which he barely resembled the player who had an NFL-high 39 1/2 sacks in the last three seasons and played in three straight Pro Bowls.

Merriman didn't immediately return e-mails and telephone calls seeking comment.

"Shawne informed me he did not feel right and thought it best to shut it down," Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith said in a statement. "Shawne is a great player and an inspirational leader. He will be missed. We wish him a successful surgery and a speedy recovery."

Second-year pro Jyles Tucker is expected to take Merriman's spot.

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Coach Jeff Fisher said the Tennessee Titans didn't have the luxury of waiting to be sure about the safety of quarterback Vince Young before calling police for help in finding him.

That led to four hours of uncertainty Monday night before Young contacted the Titans and met with Fisher, a psychologist and police crisis negotiators at the team's headquarters before driving himself home. His mental state has been questioned heavily the last two days, in large part because of his reaction to being heavily booed in Sunday's opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Young has a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, and Fisher said that the quarterback would not play Sunday at Cincinnati.

What prompted the call to police? Fisher wasn't saying.

"I was given some information from people that were close to him late afternoon, early evening that was quite honestly very concerning to me. I'm not going to go into specifics, but it was concerning to me," Fisher said.

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The Seattle Seahawks released punter Ryan Plackemeier, running back Justin Forsett and wide receiver Jordan Kent and signed veteran punter Jon Ryan to take Plackemeier's spot. . . . The Miami Dolphins put rookie starting guard Donald Thomas on the injured reserve list. . . . Jacksonville signed veteran guards Milford Brown and Chad Slaughter, put Vince Manuwai on injured reserve and waived rookie cornerback Isaiah Gardner.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Washington will allow Savannah to transfer

E.J. Savannah, the Washington Huskies' leading tackler and defensive most valuable player from a season ago, has been granted a release from his scholarship. The school said it has granted Savannah his release provided he transfers to a school outside the Pacific 10 Conference.

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Minnesota running back Duane Bennett will miss the rest of the season because of a knee injury. Bennett led the Gophers with 140 yards rushing in the first two games of the season, both victories.

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Former Cincinnati quarterback Ben Mauk, who sued the NCAA after being denied a sixth season of eligibility, lost another appeal when a judge ruled against granting him a permanent injunction allowing Mauk to rejoin the Bearcats.

JURISPRUDENCE

Police say Collier was the target of shooting

The lead detective in the shooting of Jacksonville Jaguars tackle Richard Collier says investigators believe the player was targeted.

Sheriff's Det. Dennis Sullivan says Collier remains in critical but stable condition at a Jacksonville hospital, with multiple gunshot wounds. He was shot in his car outside an apartment last Tuesday.

MISCELLANY

76ers, Cheeks agree to a contract extension

Philadelphia 76ers Coach Maurice Cheeks agreed to another contract extension after a season in which his team made the playoffs.

The extension was announced by team President Ed Stefanski, although terms were not disclosed.

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Unable to earn her card through sponsor exemptions, Michelle Wie has entered the LPGA Tour qualifying school and will play the first stage next week at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage.

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James Blake was left off the defending champion U.S. Davis Cup tennis team because of exhaustion and replaced by Sam Querrey. Andy Roddick and doubles specialists Bob and Mike Bryan round out the U.S. team for the best-of-five series against Spain on outdoor clay Sept. 19-21 in Madrid.

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Double amputee Oscar Pistorius of South Africa began his bid for three gold medals at the Beijing Paralympics by winning the 100 meters in 11.17 seconds. American Jerome Singleton was second, and Brian Frasure of the United States was third.

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The Detroit Red Wings re-signed 46-year-old defenseman Chris Chelios for one year. . . . Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Ballard agreed to a six-year contract extension.

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Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien will miss most of the English Premier League season after injuring a knee last weekend during Ghana's World Cup qualifier against Libya.

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