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Chargers’ Te’o practices with vets for first time

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    San Diego linebacker Manti Te’o, a former Punahou and Notre Dame star, got a drink as teammate Melvin Ingram waited his turn during the Chargers’ practice on Monday in San Diego.
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SAN DIEGO >> Philip Rivers thought Manti Te’o had a decent first interaction with San Diego’s veterans.

“It didn’t seem like he was lost or anything … he didn’t stand out, which was a good thing,” Rivers said after the first practice of organized team activities, which are practices in helmets, jerseys and shorts, but no pads.

Te’o did get matched up with star tight end Antonio Gates a few times, which was “a quick welcome, Day 1,” Rivers said.

“Today was a good first day,” said inside linebacker Donald Butler, who will be paired with Te’o in the Chargers’ 3-4 defense.

The only person who didn’t get to talk about Te’o’s performance was Te’o himself.

The team pulled an end run and kept Te’o away from a large media contingent that hoped to find out from the player how he felt after mixing it up with vets for the first time.

As Te’o walked off the field, an assistant coach put an arm around the rookie’s shoulders and said he had to get to a meeting.

Te’o, the linebacker from Notre Dame, was picked by the Chargers in the second round after slipping out of the opening round in part because of a poor performance in a blowout loss to Alabama in the national championship game. He also was part of a girlfriend hoax that drew national headlines.

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