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Te‘o ‘excited, anxious’ heading into likely NFL debut

September 28, 2013
The Associated Press

SAN DIEGO (AP) - San Diego linebacker Manti Te'o is poised to make his regular-season debut when the Chargers host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

The rookie from Oahu, who has been out with an injured right foot since Aug. 8, has been working with the starters this week and is hoping to help a defense that is ranked next to last in the NFL.

"I'm excited, anxious and the nerves are going to be flying around," said Te'o, a Heisman Trophy finalist at Notre Dame and the Chargers' second-round draft pick in April. "But at the end of the day, football is football. My guys have been reminding me of that."

Article Photos

Manti Te‘o of the San Diego Chargers has been out with an injured right foot since Aug. 8.

AP photo

San Diego has not recovered a fumble this season and has only one interception, which came in the opening minutes of its first game.

"That's definitely what a defense wants to do, is keep the points down and get the ball back," Te'o said. "But I can't promise you anything other than trying to help the team win."

Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano said he is confident Te'o has the skills to make the adjustment to regular-season play.

Fact Box



7 a.m.-Seattle at Houston, FOX

7 a.m.-Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota, CBS

10:25 a.m.-Dallas at San Diego, FOX

2:30 p.m.-New England at Atlanta, NBC


2:40 p.m.-Miami at New Orleans, ESPN

"We're giving him as much game speed here as we can," Pagano said. "It's always a challenge your first time playing in anything. It's the ability, and the game speed is always going to be faster than anything else. But that is something he is going to adapt to very quickly."



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