According to ESPN’s Eric Williams, San Diego Chargers linebacker Manti Te’o has suffered a torn Achilles tendon and will miss the remainder of the 2016-17 NFL season. Te’o, one of the team’s defensive captains and the man responsible for relaying the play call, was in the middle of a very important season for his future. He is in the last year of his rookie contract and the second contract traditionally is where a guy makes sets himself up financially.
A second-round pick in the 2013 NFL draft, Manti Te’o has never played a full 16-game season. Over four seasons, he will have played in 38 games, intercepted two passes, forced one fumble, and collected 160 tackles, and 1.5 sacks. That means that each season of his career, Te’o was good for just over one sack, interception, or forced fumble and 40 tackles. For a player that played in a defense where as much of the action as possible was funneled his way, those numbers coupled with an inability to stay on the field are unlikely to result in a big free agent deal.
By all accounts, Te’o is a good guy, a good teammate, and even a good leader. You hate to see a player’s season cut short, but this was especially bad timing for a guy in a contract year.