Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct.10, 2016

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 50 of 55 OCT. 10, 2016 51 IRISH IN THE PROS BY MATT JONES M anti Te'o's injury woes in the NFL continue. The 2013 second-round pick by the San Diego Chargers tore his Achilles in the team's loss to the Indianapo- lis Colts Sept. 25, an injury that will sideline him for the remainder of the 2016 campaign. Te'o, who was named a team cap- tain before the season, suffered the injury with 5:48 left in the first quar- ter while covering Colts running back Frank Gore. Te'o went down while trying to plant his foot. He was not touched by another player. "It didn't feel too good," Te'o told reporters. "And it was something that when it happened, you just knew it wasn't really good." It's the latest in a string of ailments that have slowed down the former Notre Dame star linebacker. He started 13 games as a rookie in 2013, but was slowed by an early-season foot injury. In 2014, he suffered a fractured foot. Last year, he missed four games mid- way because of an ankle injury. "Everything happens for a reason," Te'o said. "I live by a quote that says, 'God puts mountains in front of you to show other people that it can be moved.' My faith is strong, and I know that I will be all right. "Unfortunately, I couldn't be out there with my brothers and playing, and that is the thing that hurts the most. It was a big year for me, and I worked extremely hard. And there is nothing that you can do now. Just look forward and move forward and keep going." Te'o is in the final year of his four- year rookie contract that pays him $1.1 million this season. He will now enter the free agent market while re- habbing a serious injury. In 2015, Te'o had 63 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble. "It was just a big, big year for me," Te'o said of 2016. "I worked ex- tremely hard to give myself a chance. Freak accidents like this, you can't predict stuff like that. It's all about moving forward. "This is nothing compared to what is going on in my head and my heart. I have been playing this game for 20 years. I have been playing this game since I was 5. All my family is in my head and my family here with the Chargers; we just had so many big dreams. "I had so many big dreams for my team. Just because I am down does not mean that it is over. It is still go- ing, but I just wish I could be right there with them. That is the thing that hurts the most. It is where I am most comfortable. It is where I have the most fun." Chargers head coach Mike McCoy summed up what Te'o's loss means to the team. "Manti Te'o, he lives [for the game]," McCoy told the team's web- site. "I mean, he lives and dies foot- ball every single day. It is just bad luck with what he has dealt with in the early part of his career. … "He is another one of those guys that you feel for with the way he's worked, what he's done and what he means to our organization. It's a shame." ✦ Manti Te'o Suffers Season-Ending Injury Te'o made 17 tackles (11 solo) this season before suffering a torn Achilles in San Diego's 26-22 loss at Indianapolis Sept. 25. PHOTO COURTESY SAN DIEGO CHARGERS NOTRE DAME IN THE NFL: WEEK THREE HIGHLIGHTS • David Bruton (Played at Notre Dame from 2005‑08), S, Washington Redskins: Had nine tackles and a pass defended in the Redskins' 29‑27 win over the New York Giants. • Michael Floyd (2008‑11), WR, Arizona Cardinals: Finished with four catches (on 11 targets) for 65 yards — all season highs — in the Cardinals' 33‑18 loss at Buffalo. • Will Fuller (2013‑15), WR, Houston Tex ‑ ans: Was held to three catches for 31 yards in a 27‑0 loss to the Patriots … Through three games, he had 12 catches for 242 yards and a touchdown. • Romeo Okwara (2012‑15), DL, New York Giants: Blocked a punt in the Giants' 29‑27 loss to Washington. • Kyle Rudolph (2008‑10), TE, Minnesota Vikings: Had seven catches for 70 yards and a touchdown in a 22‑10 upset win at Carolina. • Golden Tate (2007‑09), WR, Detroit Lions: Caught four of six targets for 40 yards in the Lions' 34‑27 loss at Green Bay … He also had one rushing attempt that went for an eight‑ yard loss.

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