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Manti Te'o unlikely to play in Chargers' season opener

Don't expect to see Manti Te'o make his NFL debut Monday night.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport said Thursday on NFL Network's "Around The League Live" that he's been told it's unlikely Te'o will be on the field when the San Diego Chargers meet the Houston Texans in Week 1.

The news is not a surprise. The rookie linebacker has been battling a sprained right foot for a month now. He hasn't practiced with teammates since Aug. 8, and his session work has been limited to drills off to the side with a trainer. UT-San Diego reported that Te'o took part in resistance running Wednesday, his "most strenuous public workout" since the injury.

Te'o's biggest goal (other than getting his foot back to 100 percent), is working himself into game shape. Rapoport said a return in Week 2 or Week 3 is possible.

For the time being, the not-quite-as-well-known Bront Bird will replace Te'o in the starting lineup.

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