Chargers’ Merriman faces steroids suspension, awaits appeal

Villanovan Editor

San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman faces a potential suspension from the National Football League after allegedly violating the league’s steroids and related substances policy.Merriman’s positive test was “definitely for steroids…not one of those supplement deals,” said a source with knowledge of Merriman’s suspension earlier this week, according to news services.ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that both the initial A sample and backup B sample came back positive.Merriman, 22, the reigning Defensive Rookie of Year, appealed the original four- game suspension. He will be able to practice and play until the Nov. 7 hearing and could continue beyond that depending on how long it takes Commissioner Roger Goodell to reach a decision. The Chargers will still have their Pro Bowl linebacker for this Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams and next Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns. Pending the NFL’s decision, Merriman could also be eligible for San Diego’s November 12 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.Merriman is currently second on San Diego and 10th in the NFL with five and one-half sacks. He recorded 10 sacks in his award-winning rookie season, and is quickly becoming one of the NFL’s best-known defensive players.The Merriman suspension talks started a week after Atlanta Falcons guard Mark Lehr and Detroit Lions defensive tackle Shaun Rogers began serving their suspensions for steroid-related infractions.