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Te’o getting closer to playing but won’t go Sunday

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    San Diego Chargers inside linebacker Manti Te'o (50) poses for pictures with sailors during NFL football training on the flight deck of the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, in Coronado, Calif. The Chargers play their final preseason game Thursday against the San Francisco 49ers. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
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SAN DIEGO >> Two San Diego Chargers players didn’t practice on Thursday in the team’s preparations for the Philadelphia Eagles.

One of them will play Sunday; the other isn’t expected to be ready.

Linebacker Manti Te’o is a longshot to be in uniform.

“He is going to start Week 7,” teammate Donald Butler joked.

The team’s second-round pick from Notre Dame hasn’t practiced since spraining his right foot in his nine-play stint during an Aug. 8 preseason game.

But he is getting closer. He no longer wears a walking boot on his right foot and his running and change-of-direction movements have increased significantly when working on the side with trainer James Collins.

“We are making a lot of progress,” said Te’o. “We will see about next week, but it is looking good so far. I’m getting that work in.”

His contributions Sunday will be with his vocal cords.

“I will be the biggest cheerleader on the side,” Te’o said. “I will be back soon.”

The other Charger not working was defensive end Sean Lissemore. He had treatment for an infection near his elbow and was confident he would practice on Friday and play on Sunday. “I’m good to go,” he said.

Lissemore is a backup but when facing the up-tempo Eagles, it’s all hands on deck. Being able to insert reserves to give the starters a rest is critical this week.

“We will need everybody,” Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano said. “I think I may be ready to go in if I have to come off the sideline for a play here and there.”

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