When it rains it pours. And for all intents and purposes, the bad news keeps pouring on Dolphins' defensive end Phillip Merling. Two days after officially being charged with a felony, stemming from allegedly hitting his pregnant girlfriend, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk is reporting that Merling has suffered an Achilles' tendon injury.
The severity of the injury has not been specified, but the nature of Achilles' tendon injuries are extremely serious, regardless of it's a sprain, tear, or rupture. Obviously, Merling's 2010 status was already up in the air as he faces a likely suspension from the league and a possible release from the Dolphins. This latest news all but closes the book on Merling's season, and possibly his career in Miami.
Although, the source is reporting that the injury could be non-football related, which would make sense because we didn't hear of him getting hurt in any OTA or minicamp workout. If that's the case, the Dolphins could choose not to pay his $600,000 salary this upcoming season.
Putting Merling on the IR without pay, while his legal issues and any disciplinary actions by the league are worked out, could be enough incentive to keep him around. But then again, Merling's whole situation has gotten just about as ugly as it gets. Now, is as good of time as any to cut ties and move on.