Manti Te'o missing valuable time

What was supposed to be a minor obstacle has put Manti Te’o’s chances of being ready for the season opener in major jeopardy.

Te’o was not practicing Monday. He was hurt Aug. 8 in the preseason opener. When Te’o appeared in a walking boot Aug. 10 San Diego coach Mike McCoy said he’d be in it for a week. Yet, it has now been more than three weeks.

Theoretically, Te’o can practice Wednesday and be ready to play against Houston in the season opener Sept. 9. But right now it appears Bront Bird will be in Te’o’s inside linebacker spot.

This injury hurts Te’o and the Chargers. The team was counting on him. For a rookie to play just a couple of series in the preseason and to miss three weeks of practice, it will certainly thwart his progress. Te’o, a second-round pick, can catch up, but it may take several weeks.

However, the Chargers did get some good injury news Monday as they began to prepare for Houston in earnest.

Star defensive end Corey Liuget returned to practice after being out with a shoulder injury. Receiver Eddie Royal is also back after being out with a bruised lung and concussion.