Bills, first round-pick Shaq Lawson make tough decision on shoulder surgery

Shaq Lawson after being selected by the Buffalo Bills as the number nineteen overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Kamil Krzaczynski/Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Spor

Buffalo Bills’ first-round draft pick Shaq Lawson will undergo surgery for a pre-existing shoulder injury, the team announced Monday.

Lawson, a defensive end selected 19th overall out of Clemson, is scheduled to go under the knife on Tuesday to repair a torn labrum.

The Bills released the following statement Monday afternoon:

Bills general manager Doug Whaley initially downplayed the severity of the injury, saying team doctors evaluated Lawson’s shoulder and determined he would be fine to play in his rookie season. Whaley has since changed his tune, and credited Lawson for being proactive about the surgery in a team-released statement:

While the Bills did not give an initial timetable for Lawson’s recovery, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Lawson is expected to miss four-to-six months.

Lawson has said in the past that he suffered the injury during his freshman season in 2013 and has played through it ever since.

As a junior at Clemson, Lawson started all 13 games and registered 12.5 sacks and led the nation with 24.5 tackles for a loss.