ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills have been awarded linebacker Shawne Merriman off waivers from the San Diego Chargers.
The 0-7 Bills, who have the worst record in the league, had the first right to claim the three-time Pro Bowl selection.
"As we have said many times before, we are constantly evaluating our roster and will do things that we feel can improve out team," said Bills general manager Buddy Nix. "We think Shawne can help our defense so we claimed him. He has been an impact player in the 3-4 defense and we feel this is a good opportunity to make our team better."
San Diego placed the six-year veteran on injured reserve with a minor- injury designation on October 13, a move that positioned them to release the linebacker once he and the team agreed he was healthy.
Merriman had played in three games for the Chargers this season and has been limited to just six tackles.
He was inactive for a Week 1 loss at Kansas City with an Achilles issue, then after suffering a calf injury during a Week 3 loss at Seattle, Merriman was on the sideline during a Week 4 rout of Arizona. The calf was reinjured during San Diego's 35-27 setback at Oakland on October 10.
Since breaking in with the Bolts as a first-round pick (12th overall) in the 2005 NFL Draft out of the University of Maryland, Merriman has compiled 231 tackles, 43 1/2 sacks and one interception in 60 contests.
Merriman could make his Bills debut on Sunday as Buffalo hosts the Chicago Bears.
To make room for Merriman, Buffalo placed offensive tackle Cornell Green on injured reserve.