While he’s been a member of the team for less than 24 hours, the Buffalo Bills have already gotten some troubling news about Shaq Lawson. ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the No. 19 overall pick will require shoulder surgery at some point.
New Bills' DE Shaq Lawson will need shoulder surgery that sidelines him 4-6 months at some point, probably after next season, per sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 29, 2016
Lawson is disputing the report.
According to Mike Rodak of ESPN, Lawson claimed that the shoulder injury happened in 2013, when we was a freshman at Clemson.
“If I didn’t have surgery my freshman year, why would I need surgery now? I can still play ball,” Lawson said, adding later. “All the teams were happy. I have a full range of motion, and they said [the shoulder] looks a whole lot better from when I came up there [to Indianapolis] the first time. I really didn’t have a problem with it [the shoulder] at school.”
It is a little hard to believe some details of the report, especially as it relates to the timeline. If the need for surgery is so strong, it’s difficult to believe that it can wait until after the 2016 season. A season of football could certainly aggravate the injury more.
If the injury happened as a freshman in 2013, it certainly didn’t slow Lawson down in 2015. He put up a dominant stat line in his junior year with the Tigers, notching 12.5 quarterback sacks and a whopping 24.5 tackles for a loss.
On the other hand, this is certainly not happy news for Bills fans. The last thing anyone wants to hear about the day after using a first-round draft pick on a player is that he’s got some lingering injury that might require surgery and a 4-6 month recovery.
To ease the mind of his new fans and new team, it will be important for Lawson to show early on that he’s healthy and can be an impact player.