The Buffalo Bills could be without their top draft pick for the rest of the summer, an absence that could continue into the season. Buffalo used the 19th overall pick in last month's NFL Draft to select Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson, with rumors swirling that Lawson may need shoulder surgery, despite Lawson denying the need.
Speculation had him possibly waiting until after the 2016 NFL season to undergo the procedure, but, the Bills released a statement today that they are going to have Lawson undergo the surgery now:
Shaq Lawson needs shoulder surgery after all. pic.twitter.com/v5wfqPG9Uo— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 16, 2016
It could also be a lengthy rehabilitation, with ESPN's Adam Schefter adding:
Multiple teams around the league believed Bills' 1st-round pick Shaq Lawson would need shoulder surgery that would sideline him 4-6 months.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 16, 2016
If the 4-6 month timeline stands, Lawson would return as early as somewhere between Week 1 and 2 of the season, or it could be as late as around Week 10 or 11 of the season. The Miami Dolphins face the Bills in Week 7, an October 23 game in Miami. The second meeting between the two AFC East rivals is scheduled for Week 16, a Christmas Eve contest in Buffalo.