San Diego Chargers rookie linebacker Manti Te’o needs all the snaps he can get to prepare himself for the start of the regular season. However, he’ll miss about a week of practice – and the Chargers’ next preseason game – due to a minor foot sprain. Te’o was seen in a walking boot on Saturday.
“I think any player is a little disappointed when they have a little injury that will keep them out for a little bit,” head coach Mike McCoy said. “But it’s part of the game and he’ll do whatever he can to get back on the field as quickly as possible.”
Te’o suffered the injury in the preseason opener against the Seattle Seahawks. He played just nine snaps with the starting defense and recorded no stats in limited playing time. Te’o looked okay in his debut, but at times was unable to get off blocks quick enough to get himself involved in the play. This was his biggest weakness at Notre Dame and was showcased in the National Championship game against Alabama. Te’o will definitely need some more work to improve on this moving forward.
Linebacker Bront Bird will practice with the first-team defense in Te’o’s absence. The Chargers are already thin at inside linebacker, having lost Jonas Mouton for the season with a torn ACL. Andrew Gachkar and D.J. Smith are also figured to be in the mix for playing time at inside linebacker.
Let’s just hope Te’o’s injury is as minor as McCoy claims it to be. Earlier this week, McCoy downplayed Danario Alexander’s knee injury saying he simply got “dinged.” Turns out Alexander tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season.