Well, this is unpleasant.
Highly unlikely Manti Te'o (foot) makes his NFL debut Sunday vs. Eagles. Not practicing today. Bront Bird to start.— Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) September 12, 2013
Highly unlikely, indeed. Especially when you consider that the last time Manti Te'o was on a football field was over a month ago (August 8th).
Due to Mike McCoy's lack of transparency with injury reports during the preseason, many Chargers fans have been openly wondering if Te'o's foot injury is worse than it seems. It doesn't help that Paul Mahon is out there making diagnosis either:
Mantei Te'o misses 25th workouts..sure looks like Lisfranc sprain of foot..not getting better at all...Chargers say not candidate for 8W-IR— Lee Hacksaw Hamilton (@hacksaw1090) September 12, 2013
Contrary to what Mr. Mahon thinks, there doesn't appear to be such a thing as a "Lisfranc sprain". If Manti Te'o had a Lisfranc fracture, Lisfranc dislocation or a Lisfranc fracture dislocation, the team would see it on X-rays and he would have either had surgery or he'd be in a cast and on crutches (and not putting any weight on the foot at all).
The fact that Manti is no longer wearing the walking boot, and has had a few days of cardio workout on the side of Chargers practice, means that it's far more likely that he simply sprained his foot. Sprains don't always heal as fast as you'd like them to (I should know, I've sprain my ankle more than a few times). He'll be ready when his body, and nature, decides.
What fans should be worried about is if San Diego will be able to win any games with Bront Bird as the starting inside linebacker in Manti's place. He sure looked overmatched against the Houston Texans, and the Philadelphia Eagles are probably building an entire gameplan around attacking him as much as possible.