Police responded to the home of the San Diego Chargers player, 25, following a 911 call at 3:45 a.m. local time.
The internet pin-up, real name Tila Nguyen, signed a complaint against her beau at the scene and was taken to the local Pomerado Hospital for treatment.
Merriman was taken into custody and is accused of battery and false imprisonment. His bail is set at $58,000 (£38,000).
A lawyer for Merriman has denied all charges against his sportstar client, insisting he was simply trying to prevent an "extremely inebriated" Tequila from travelling home when he didn't deem it safe for her to do so.
No further details regarding the model's condition were available as WENN went to press.
The pair have been dating since July (09).