SAN DIEGO — San Diego Chargers inside linebacker Manti Te’o tore his Achilles tendon Sunday and will require season-ending surgery, sources told ESPN on Monday.
San Diego’s defensive playcaller and co-caption, the Notre Dame product had big expectations for the 2016 season. Te’o is in the final year of his rookie contract, and he now will head into free agency with a cloud of uncertainty that includes rehabbing from a significant injury.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Teo said after the game. “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 suffered the injury with 5:48 left in the opening quarter while trying to cover Indianapolis Colts running back Frank Gore out in the flat. Te’o went down on his own while trying to plant and cover Gore on a pass route. Te’o was not touched by another player.
After being looked at by San Diego’s training staff, Te’o had to be helped off the field and could not put pressure on his left leg. Te’o was later taken to the locker room on a cart for further evaluation.
Te’o said when he went to plant he felt something give in his ankle.
“It didn’t feel too good,” Te’o said. “And something that when it happened, you just knew it wasn’t really good.”
“We’ve had a lot of injuries, but we’ve just got to execute,” Perryman said.
Te’o, 25, missed 13 games in his first three years because of various foot and ankle ailments. He shed weight during the offseason so that he could play faster and stay healthy during the regular season.
Te’o has yet to finish a full 16-game season healthy as a pro.
“I have been playing this game for 20 years,” Te’o said. “I have been playing this game since I was five and all my family is in my head, and my family here with the Chargers and 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 and it is still going, but I just wish I could be right there with them. I am still going to be there just like I was in the second half, but I am not going to be out there with them and that is the thing that hurts the most. It is where I am most comfortable. It is where I have the most fun.”