The San Diego Chargers and Cincinnati Bengals ought to get together before their November 12th meeting in Cincy and compare rap sheets on players and see which team can declare itself the champion as “Thugs of the NFL.” The latest Chargers incident comes after Sunday’s somewhat stunning 30-27 loss to the Chiefs at Arrowhead, as reports now state that last years NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year – Shawne Merriman, will be suspended for four games due to steroids. Merriman, according to ESPN.com will sit the next four games, leaving a big hole in a Chargers defense that did not play well on Sunday.
Merriman was to be suspended last week with two other players, but the suspension was delayed because he reserved the right to appeal the ruling. The starting Pro Bowl linebacker for the AFC last season is second this year on the Chargers with 5.5 sacks, and had seven tackles and one assist in Sunday’s loss to KC. The ruling would be the 5th off the field incident that the Chargers have had since April, putting them right up there with the Bengals for most in the league.
Linebacker Steve Foley was shot three times outside his home in September after reaching into his belt after being pulled over for what ended up being a DUI. Safety Terrence Kiel was arrested on five felony drug counts in September, CB Markus Curry was arrested October 9th on suspicion of committing domestic violence. Back in April fellow LB Shaun Phillips scuffled with cops, but was not charged.
The Bengals currently are the champs of off the field incidents this season in the league. Two players have already been suspended this season – LB Odell Thurman and WR Chris Henry. All in all, six Bengals players have been arrested in 2006 for various charges, including Thurman, Henry, DT Matthias Askew, LB A.J. Nicholson, and DE Frostee Rucker.