Williams Waits for Knee Surgery

The Bolts issued a medical update today, noting that Marcus McNeill (shoulder) and Shawne Merriman (knee) recently underwent arthroscopic surgeries that will have them back in action in four and six weeks, respectively. However, it's the player who has yet to undergo surgery who is creating a stir.

Jamal Williams, who is slated to have surgery performed on both knees, has yet to go under the knife. This is disconcerting news for the Chargers defense, as no timeline has been set for Williams' post-op recovery.

The Chargers played their last game nearly two months ago and knew immediately after the season that Williams' chronic knee pain would have to be addressed in the offseason. So what's the holdup?

"It's just a matter of being scheduled," A.J. Smith said. "A lot of these guys go out there for two or three opinions. We want it done right after the season, but you've got agents and players who take their time to get opinions. They cross it over and they pick a date."

Williams is expected to submit to surgery in the very near future but no date has been set. Ted Cottrell will have to cross his fingers and hope the cornerstone of his defense will be ready to hit the field on opening day. Williams' backup, Brandon McKinney, played sporadically last season and was relegated to the inactive list throughout the playoffs.

Williams' murky situation explains why the Chargers are looking so heavily at defensive linemen in their draft preparations. SDBoltReport.com has confirmed private meetings between the Bolts and more than a half-dozen defensive line prospects so far this offseason.

Williams becomes the third core player to be in jeopardy for the beginning of the season. Philip Rivers (ACL) and Antonio Gates (toe) will both be limited this offseason and could be questionable for training camp.

Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. He has followed the Chargers for more than 14 years and covered the team since 2003.

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