After Shaq Lawson was drafted in the first round by the Bills, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Lawson needed to have shoulder surgery at some point that would sideline him for 4-6 months.
Lawson said on a pre-draft visit to PFT Live that his shoulder was fine and said there was “no truth” to Schefter’s report. That statement may need to be walked back after Monday’s announcement from the Bills that the edge rusher will be having surgery on that very same shoulder.
“The Buffalo Bills are taking measures to prevent the possibility of Shaq Lawson aggravating a pre-existing shoulder condition during the season,” the team’s statement said. “While he could continue to play, the Bills medical staff has determined that surgery is the best course of action for the overall health of his shoulder moving forward. He had an occurrence of the condition last week, but that would not preclude him from participating in the offseason program. Shaq is scheduled for surgery tomorrow on his shoulder with a rehabilitation program to follow. A timetable for his return is still being established.”
General Manager Doug Whaley, who previously called Lawson a starter from his first day, offered some idea about that timetable in a statement of his own by saying that he commended Lawson for “forsaking personal goals to be 100 percent healthy when we will need him most during the regular season.” By the timeline Schefter initially reported, that could be as late as November and that would leave Lawson with a lot of catching up to do without much time left in his rookie season.