San Diego Chargers draft pick linebacker Manti Te’o has been ruled out for the season opener. This move was expected but now it has become official.
According to the Union-Tribune San Diego:
“Chargers inside linebacker Manti Te’o has been declared out for Monday night’s season opener, the team announced Saturday, after missing his latest week of practice. Bront Bird is expected to start against the Texans in place of the rookie second-round pick.”
Te’o suffered a foot injury in the first preseason game and has been struggling to get healthy since then and hasn’t practiced since. The Chargers signed inside linebackers Reggie Walker and Terrell Manning recently to bolster the depth on the defense.
Bird has been filling in for Te’o since he suffered the injury and said he’d be “ready to go” if Te’o was unavailable. It appears he could be holding that spot down for a few weeks while they Chargers wait for Te’o to recover. Bird is a special teams player mostly, this will be his first career start in the NFL.
Te’o was diagnosed with a sprain and has been seen walking around in a protective book last month.