SAN DIEGO -- Ask Melvin Ingram how he feels playing for the first time since anterior cruciate ligament knee surgery in May, and you’ll get the same answer.
San Diego coach Mike McCoy said the team and the training staff had a plan to manage Ingram in his first game action in nearly a year, after being activated from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list to the active roster this weekend.
“We could have waited, but where he was -- the medical staff did an outstanding job with him,” McCoy said. “And give Melvin a lot of credit for the way he’s worked. From the very first 30 seconds after he went down he said, ‘Don’t worry coach, I’ll be back. I’ll play next year.’ So give him and the medical staff all the credit in the world for the way they’ve worked.”
For his part, Ingram said he was pleased to part of his team’s victory Sunday.
“This is my first game back,” Ingram said. “I feel like I’m in a good spot, but there’s always room for improvement.”
San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers said the team received an energy boost from having Ingram and the rest of those veterans back in action.
“Anytime you get a guy like that back, it gives you a spark,” Rivers said about having Ingram back on the field. “Obviously the guys that have been around have seen the way he’s pushed [to get back on the field]. And you want to see guys be healthy.”
Added cornerback Shareece Wright: “Just his passion for the game, and his determination to get hurt and come back -- just wanting to play so bad. We definitely feed off of that.”
Ingram seemed out of place and a step slow at times. But he provided some good pressure off the edge on a handful of pass rushes, and finished with a tackle. Now, Ingram has to turn around and do it again on the road against the Denver Broncos on Thursday in a short week.