NFL Nation: Bront Bird

All four San Diego Chargers on Friday's injury report are defensive players.

That’s not exactly ideal heading into a game against the Philadelphia Eagles on a short week. The Chargers, who blew a 21-point lead in the second half to Houston on Monday night, have to face the fast-paced, Chip Kelly Eagles’ offense.

Depth can become a problem if these injuries are an issue.

Only one San Diego player is listed as out -- rookie Manti Te’o. It is no surprise. The inside linebacker has not practiced since suffering a foot injury Aug. 8. Bront Bird will continue to play for Te’o.

The other San Diego players on the report are all probable. They are defensive ends Corey Liuget (shoulder) and Sean Lissemore (elbow) and safety Brandon Taylor (knee).

Manti Te'o still not practicing

September, 11, 2013
Another week of practice has started, and Manti Te’o continues to be on the sideline.

The rookie inside linebacker was the only San Diego Charger not to practice because of health reasons Wednesday as the team prepared to travel to Philadelphia on Sunday.

Te’o has not practiced since injuring his foot Aug. 8 in the preseason opener. Even if he does practice this week, it would be a stretch for him play Sunday. He has simply missed too much time. It would be difficult for Te’o to play against the fast-paced Eagles with such little preparation.

The second-round pick from Notre Dame could be ready to play in the next couple of weeks. In the season opener, Bront Bird replaced Te’o and made his first NFL start. Bird played OK but seemed to fade along with the rest of the San Diego defense as Houston scored the final 24 points to win 31-28.

Chargers odds and ends

September, 8, 2013
San Diego Chargers' notes as they prepare to open the season Monday night with a home date against the Houston Texans:

As expected, rookie linebacker Manti Te'o was ruled out for the game because of a foot injury he suffered in the preseason opener Aug. 8. He might be a couple of weeks away from returning, because he needs practice time. Bront Bird will make his first start at inside linebacker.

Receivers Malcom Floyd (knee) and Eddie Royal (chest, head) are listed a probable and will play Monday.

The local television blackout was lifted, so the game will be shown locally.
The San Diego Chargers are healthy going into the 2013 season other their decorated rookie linebacker.

Still, it’s got to be disappointing that rookie inside linebacker Manti Te’o is very likely not going to play Monday night at home against Houston. The second-round pick has not practiced since Aug. 8 with a foot injury. He was expected to be an instant starter. Now, special-teamer Bront Bird is set to start. The third-year player has never started an NFL game.

But, in the big picture, the Chargers are extremely healthy otherwise. Every other San Diego player practiced Thursday and is set to play against the Texans.

Meanwhile, the Chargers signed receiver Terrence Toliver to the practice squad. He spent time with the Bears. To make room for him, undrafted rookie defensive end Brandon Moore was released. Moore made the 53-man roster Saturday. It’s been a tough few days for him. It shows the team has gotten deeper since Saturday.

Manti Te'o inches closer to playing

September, 4, 2013
Manti Te'o is closer to being ready for his NFL debut.

However, the odds are still not great the San Diego Chargers’ inside linebacker will make it on time for Monday night's regular-season opener against visiting Houston. U-T San Diego reported that Te’o did some resistance running Wednesday. It was his most extensive public work since he was hurt Aug. 8, in the first preseason game. The rookie was in a walking boot for three weeks.

At the time of his injury, San Diego coach Mike McCoy said Te’o would be in the boot for a week.

Te'o missed the three final games of the preseason and has not been practicing.

Thus, his chances of playing against Houston are not great. The Chargers are reporting that Bront Bird will start in place of the Notre Dame product. If all goes well, perhaps Te’o can play in Week 2 at Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, the Chargers are not expected to face Houston safety Ed Reed on Monday night. He has a hip injury.

Manti Te'o missing valuable time

September, 2, 2013
What was supposed to be a minor obstacle has put Manti Te’o’s chances of being ready for the season opener in major jeopardy.

Te’o was not practicing Monday. He was hurt Aug. 8 in the preseason opener. When Te’o appeared in a walking boot Aug. 10 San Diego coach Mike McCoy said he’d be in it for a week. Yet, it has now been more than three weeks.

Theoretically, Te’o can practice Wednesday and be ready to play against Houston in the season opener Sept. 9. But right now it appears Bront Bird will be in Te’o’s inside linebacker spot.

This injury hurts Te’o and the Chargers. The team was counting on him. For a rookie to play just a couple of series in the preseason and to miss three weeks of practice, it will certainly thwart his progress. Te’o, a second-round pick, can catch up, but it may take several weeks.

However, the Chargers did get some good injury news Monday as they began to prepare for Houston in earnest.

Star defensive end Corey Liuget returned to practice after being out with a shoulder injury. Receiver Eddie Royal is also back after being out with a bruised lung and concussion.

Observation deck: Chargers-49ers

August, 31, 2012

A look at the Chargers’ 35-3 road loss Thursday night:

After being held out last week because of injuries on his offensive line, the Chargers gave quarterback Philip Rivers some late-preseason work. The interception bug hit him again.

Rivers’ night ended with poor red-zone decisions on a ball that was intercepted. Rivers threw four interceptions this summer after being picked off 20 times last season. Thursday’s interception was just a pass Rivers should not have thrown.

It is a worry? Kind of, yes.

Look, preseason mistakes are just that, and Rivers is a fine player. He has thrown the ball well in the preseason. He completed 8 of 10 passes Thursday and he was 24-of-30 this preseason (yes, only two passes Rivers threw in the preseason were not caught). But he has to get out of this interception rut when the season starts.

Rookie defensive lineman Kendall Reyes looked good once again. I expect him to make an instant impact.

Nose tackle Cam Thomas looked good and should play a lot as well.

Watch for the Chargers to look for cornerback help on the waiver wire. They are banged up and their reserves were not good Thursday. The 49ers passed all over the Chargers.

Last year, while with the Chargers, quarterback Scott Tolzien performed well against the 49ers. So well, in fact, the 49ers claimed him when the Chargers cut him. Thursday night, Tolzein might have lost his roster spot when Josh Johnson had a great game for the 49ers. Would the Chargers be tempted to sign Tolzien either as a replacement for Jarrett Lee or as a practice-squader regardless if Lee is kept on the 53-man roster?

Linebacker Bront Bird finished strong and has a chance to make the team when the 53-man roster is finalized Friday.

Unless there is a shocking change of heart, kicker Nate Kaeding makes the team and Nick Novak gets cut.

Roster odds and ends

September, 4, 2011
The Oakland Tribune reports the Raiders have brought back linebacker Ricky Brown. He was a free agent this summer, was signed by New England and lasted just a couple of weeks there. Brown will likely resume his role as a backup. He started 13 games in five previous seasons in Oakland. Offensive lineman Seth Wand was cut to make room for Brown.

Meanwhile, the paper reported that this is Oakland’s eight-man practice squad: cornerback Sterling Moore, linebacker Jeremy Leman, fullback Manase Tonga, wide receiver Eddie McGee, offensive lineman Alex Parsons, tight end Kevin Brock, defensive end Mason Brodine and defensive tackle Jamie Cumbie.

The San Diego Chargers announced that they have signed six players to the practice squad and expects to add two more. The six who signed: linebacker Bront Bird, defensive tackle Charlie Bryant, tackle Steve Schilling, cornerback Traye Simmons, fullback Frank Summers and tight end Brad Taylor.

The Denver Post is reporting that undrafted rookie quarterback Adam Weber will be part of the Broncos’ practice squad.

The Oakland Tribune is reporting that defensive lineman Richard Seymour and receiver Chaz Schilens are practicing after missing time recently. Both are expected to play next Monday night at Denver barring setbacks.

It was reported last month that the Raiders could have interest in pass-rusher Aaron Maybin (the No. 11 overall pick in 2009) when he was cut by Buffalo. Maybin promptly signed with the Jets. He is now a former Jet. Wonder if the Raiders will look at him? I say this: why bother?