San Diego Chargers linebacker
Shawne Merrimanvisited four different doctors to get opinions on his damaged left knee over the summer.
-Terrell Owens, who played in Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005 despite a broken leg. Doctors wouldn't clear him to play but he did anyway, catching nine passes for 122 yards in a loss.
Dennis Dixonwas the Heisman Trophy favorite in 2007 before hurting his knee against Arizona State halfway through the season. He returned two weeks later against Arizona but left again when his knee buckled. It was then made public that he tried to play with a torn ACL.
Albert Pujolshas played the 2008 season with a "high-grade tear" in his elbow, which is liable to blow any day. It's his call to delay surgery as long as he can. The way he can hit a baseball (even with the bad wing), nobody's going to get in his way.
-Even in the Beijing Olympics , China track star
Liu Xiangtried to compete in front of his home country with a serious Achilles injury. He had barely broken out of the blocks on a false start when he finally gave up, knowing it wasn't going to work.
Norv Turnerhave stepped in and told Merriman no? Would the NFL Players' Association have raised a fuss if Turner didn't play Merriman? We know San Diego fans would.
If Merriman wanted to play through this injury while at the University of Maryland, does that change things? What about during his high school days in the Washington, D.C. area?
It's a gray area worth visiting. Merriman wasn't the first player to ignore a doctor's orders. You can bet he won't be the last.