For all of the injuries that stained the training camp and the preseason for the San Diego Chargers, only one of those appears to be lingering into the regular season. Of course the season-ending injuries aren’t going away, but the team has already prepared for dealing with those losses for the entirety of the 2013 campaign. No, the lone injury that will affect the Bolts heading into their Monday night tilt with the Houston Texans is to the highest profile rookie in arguably the entire NFL: Manti Te’o.
The rookie out of Notre Dame has not taken part in a practice since August 8 and has been seen in a walking boot since the injury occurred. Clearly this is a huge concern for the Chargers given the fact that Te’o was listed as a starter at inside linebacker alongside Donald Butler since camp began, but Bront Bird will be in that role to begin the season.
What is more surprising is that the knee injury to Malcom Floyd and the bruised lung/concussion of Eddie Royal have both healed up enough that they will play in the opener. Given the state of the San Diego receiving corps following Royal’s injury on August 17, many felt the team should pursue some alternative options to help get them through the upcoming season. Fortunately it seems like that was nothing more than an overreaction at this point with the Chargers ready to go at full strength in Week 1.
San Diego also decided to add another pass catcher to their practice squad as 6-foot-5 Terrence Toliver joined the team after spending time with the Chicago Bears. He went undrafted out of LSU in 2011 and has bounced around since then. Perhaps there is hope that the team could catch lightning in a bottle again with a free agent pick-up off the street like Danario Alexander last season.
Injuries are bound to happen during the course of an NFL season, but let’s just hope the Chargers got the majority of theirs out of the way early. Hopefully this team can stay healthy and competitive for the bulk of 2013 and make new head coach Mike McCoy’s first season in San Diego a winning one.