Chargers Shawne Merriman played into the second quarter on Saturday, 22 snaps in all.
He said his knee was a little sore yesterday after he played almost every defensive down of the first quarter and looked stronger and more fluid than he had in the preseason opener seven days prior.
It's all part of the progress he has seen and expects to continue as he comes back from the major knee surgery that ended his 2008 season before it really began.
While Merriman expects to at some point be the player he always has been, the linebacker cautions that the process won't be complete when the season begins Sept. 14.
Oh, he's still 25 and invincible. He still believes “impossible” is a word for mortals. He plans on being the best player on the field that night in Oakland, even if he's not 100 percent.
But he acknowledged that his knee won't be at full strength until late September “or maybe October.” Games like this past Saturday in Phoenix and this coming Saturday in Atlanta, where he will likely push himself to at least halftime, are among the measuring points he has established.