There was an interesting tidbit in Vic Carucci's mailbag from The Buffalo News. One reader asked Carucci about Shaq Lawson's injury and Doug Whaley's "off the bus day 1 starter" comment. Carucci responded by saying that the Bills hoped Lawson could play through his rookie year, but that the rookie ultimately made the call to have surgery.
From Carucci's mailbag:
I think the Bills were hoping against hope that Lawson would push through this year as best as possible, but at some point during rookie minicamp, he came to the realization that what he was able to do successfully in college just might not work as well in the NFL.
He saw the operation as being better for his chances of living up to lofty expectations. The Bills had no choice but to go along with his wishes.
If Carucci is correct, this is a bit different than Buffalo Bills GM Doug Whaley's version of the story. Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com shared the following about Whaley's appearance on WGR-550:
Whaley explained that Lawson was cleared to play this season, a diagnosis that still held true even after the decision was made to have the team’s top draft choice undergo pre-emptive surgery last Tuesday. Following Lawson’s shoulder flare up at rookie minicamp, he could’ve rehabbed the condition and returned. However, the club’s top decision makers met with Lawson about what was best for all parties. It was then that the decision was made to be proactive with the pass rusher’s shoulder condition.
Whaley said on WGR-550:
“The more and more we thought about it in talking about it with ownership, the head coach, the medical staff and myself and Shaq and his representatives, we said, ‘Let’s be proactive with this thing. Let’s not have an incident which may come up five months from now or five days,’” said Whaley. “So the unpredictability of when it could happen again we decided to remove all doubt. We said, ‘Let’s get the shoulder surgery done now and that’s pre-emptive and then we remove all doubt as to when this could flare up again either during the season or two years from now.'”
Whaley's version of the events that led to Lawson getting surgery certainly sound different than Carucci's mailbag response, "The Bills had no choice but to go along with his wishes."
Regardless of which version actually happened, no one can blame Lawson for choosing to have surgery immediately as it was best for his long-term health and career.