Buffalo Bills first-round pick Shaq Lawson will go under the knife to clean up a pre-existing problem in his shoulder, the team announced Monday.
Bills DE Shaq Lawson will have preemptive shoulder surgery tomorrow.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) May 16, 2016
Lawson’s condition was known before the draft, and it had already been reported that this surgery might be required.
The team is hopeful Lawson will be healthy enough to be a full go for Week 1, and general manager Doug Whaley commended him for his decision to have the surgery now, rather than down the road.
“I want to take this opportunity to commend Shaq Lawson and his representatives for putting the team first by having this surgery on his shoulder done now,” Whaley said, per the team’s website. “By doing so, he’s forsaking personal goals to be 100 percent healthy when we will need him most during the regular season. Fans constantly hear us say that we want players with tremendous character who keep team goals ahead of personal ones and Shaq is a great example of this.”
Lawson was selected No. 19 overall this past April, and the team already has him penciled in at starting outside linebacker. He was a pure pass rusher during his tenure with the Clemson Tigers, so there will be a learning curve. While at Clemson, he tallied 20 sacks, 12.5 of which came in his final season with the program.
If everything works out the way the Bills envision, Lawson will be a featured edge rusher in Rex Ryan’s aggressive 3-4 scheme.