American Football Database
American Football Database
Scott Mersereau
Date of birth: (1965-04-08) April 8, 1965 (age 56)
Place of birth: Riverhead, New York
Career information
Position(s): Defensive tackle
College: Southern Connecticut State
NFL Draft: 1987 / Round: 5 / Pick 136
(By the Los Angeles Rams
 As player:
1987-1993 New York Jets
Playing stats at

Scott Robert Mersereau born (April 8, 1965 in Riverhead, New York, United States) is a former defensive end for the New York Jets of the National Football League. He attended college at Southern Connecticut State University. He had played professionally for the New York Jets for 9 seasons beginning in 1987

Mersereau is most famous for a collision with teammate Dennis Byrd, in which Byrd was paralyzed from a neck injury during an NFL game against the Kansas City Chiefs on November 29, 1992. During the play, Byrd rushed in an attempt to sack Chiefs quarterback Dave Krieg, but Krieg stepped up to avoid the tackle, and Byrd collided with Mersereau. Byrd ducked his head at the last moment before he collided with Mersereau's chest. The head-first collision resulted in a broken C-5 vertebra that left Byrd paralyzed. Byrd later recovered, but didn't play football again.[1]

Mersereau initially thought he only had a sprained ankle, and played through the remainder of the 1992 season and all of the 1993 season. However, he required regular painkiller injections through the 1993 season due to severe back pain, and was released by the Jets after that season. When he tried to sign on with the Green Bay Packers, he failed the team physical, with the team doctor telling him he had three cracked vertebrae in his lower back. He now believes he suffered his back injury in the collision with Byrd.[1]

Mersereau suffered from excruciating back pain for several years, and had two unsuccessful operations on his back. A 1996 spinal fusion was finally successful, though not after an extended recovery that left him bedridden for six months. He has since married and currently works as a financial advisor. Additionally, Mersereau has four children and coaches football at Boca Raton Community High School in his spare time.[1]