San Diego Chargers: Houston Texans

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.
Manti Te’o will be one of the most closely watched rookies in the NFL this season.

The question is whether the San Diego Chargers linebacker will be able to play when the team opens the season Sept. 9 against visiting Houston on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”

Te’o has not played since he suffered a foot injury Aug. 8 in the preseason opener against Seattle. On, Aug. 10, San Diego coach Mike McCoy said Te’o would be in a walking boot for a week. He was reportedly still wearing the boot Monday.

Te’o, a highly-decorated second-round pick from Notre Dame, told reporters Monday he hopes to play against Houston. But he will need a full week of practice next week. He will already be playing catch-up after missing three weeks of practice.

Te’o was an early-training camp standout for San Diego. Coaches raved about his instincts and the way he caught on. And Te'o will need those traits to catch up in time to start and make an impact against the Texans.