Melvin Ingram still playing waiting game

SAN DIEGO -- He’d rather play sooner than later, but Chargers coach Mike McCoy said the team will not rush outside linebacker Melvin Ingram onto the field.

The South Carolina product tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on May 14, during an offseason workout at the team’s facility, and had surgery a week later.

Ingram’s been on the physically unable to perform list since the season started. Ingram was eligible to return to practice two weeks ago during Week 7. The Chargers have until Week 11 for Ingram to begin practicing. After that, San Diego has 21 days to place Ingram on the active roster, which means he could be activated as late as the team’s Dec. 12 contest at Denver -- nearly seven months after his surgery.

"He'll be out there as soon as he is ready,” McCoy said. “I don't want to put a timetable on it. That's not fair to him. We have a plan for him and he is working extremely hard. He is chomping at the bit.

“He's been that way since the day he was injured on the field. He said, 'Don't worry, I'll be back.' We have to make sure we do what's best for him and not rush it. He has to pass every test we need him to do, and his body needs to get to where his mind is. He is a very high confidence guy, which you love, but we have to make sure we do what's best for his future also.”

While Ingram remains out, the Chargers got a boost to their offensive line depth with guards Chad Rinehart (toe) and Stephen Schilling (neck) returning to practice this week, along with left tackle King Dunlap (concussion).

Rinehart has missed the past four games and practiced for the first time on Monday. Johnnie Troutman has done a nice job starting in place of Rinehart at left guard. Schilling suffered a neck injury during practice leading up to the Jacksonville game, and was not active for the Jaguars.

Dunlap suffered his second concussion in four weeks against Jacksonville. He missed two games after the first concussion, but the second one appears less severe, as he returned to practice this week.

After missing two games, outside linebacker Jarret Johnson (hamstring) practiced on Monday and will try and play against Washington. However, starting middle linebacker Donald Butler remains out with a groin injury. Butler also has missed the past two games.

Safety Eric Weddle also did not practice because of a toe issue, but is expected to play on Sunday.