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Manti Te'o Returns to Practice, One Day at a Time

Posted Sep 18, 2013

Second round draft pick Manti Te'o returned to practice Wednesday after suffering a foot injury in the preseason.

Manti Te'o returned to practice for the first time since injuring his foot during the first preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks.  He participated in a limited basis, but according to the Chargers, it was an important milestone in the process of getting him ready for game action.

“It’s the next step getting him back out there on the practice field, moving around,” said Head Coach Mike McCoy. “Obviously being away from the game as much as he has through the practice and everything, he’s got a little bit of rust out there, but it’s good to have him back out there. He’ll take it one day at a time.”

In the first preseason game of the year, Te’o played nine snaps over the first two defensive series of the game.  He didn’t know how long he would be out for after sustaining the injury, but he’s been working diligently to make sure he got back as soon as possible.

“I really didn’t know (how long I’d be out),” he explained when he met the media after practice. “I was just doing everything I could do to hopefully make sure I could come back as soon as possible.  I didn’t really know how long I was going to be.  Thankfully we’ve made great strides to where I was able to be part of practice today.  I’m very happy with that.”

As a result, even though he was classified as limited and didn’t participate 100%, Te’o said being out there with his teammates was an important step in the recovery process.

 “I felt real good,” he said.  “It was nice to be back out there with the guys being part of practice.  I did individual.  I was able to do a few plays in team and stuff like that, just getting my feet wet…. It’s definitely been a learning process, but I’m glad I’m at the stage where I’m at now and I’ll get better every day.”

Te’o has been remarkably healthy over the years, so suffering this setback has been a new experience for him.  Thus, the rookie second-round pick says he’s leaned on his teammates and coaches for their advice during these past six weeks.

“As a rookie, especially somebody who hasn’t experienced something like this, a lot of the guys, the veterans and the coaches are on the same page and keep telling me the same things,” he explained.  “Just to make sure that I’m ready.  To make sure that I heal up because the NFL season is a long season.  To make sure that I’m healthy so that when I come back, I don’t have to go back to where we once were.  So that’s something I’m always keeping in mind.”

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