Te’o to Make His Debut, Gronk Unlikely to Do So

The San Diego Chargers (1-2) have come close to more wins this season but have fallen short. This week they may get a boost against the Dallas Cowboys (2-1) with the debut of rookie linebacker Manti Te’o.

Manti Te'o

Manti Te’o

The player has been recovering from an injured foot suffered in the team’s first preseason game on Aug. 8 against the Seattle Seahawks (3-0). Last week he returned to practice but didn’t play in the Tennessee Titans (2-1) game. But this week, fans should get ready for his debut, reported ESPN’s Adam Schefter, as Te’o fully participated in practice.

How he plays remains to be seen as he took nine snaps in preseason play. Te’o had been asked this week if he was concerned about shaking off some rust. He said via UTsandiego.com, “Tackling is not hard at all. It’s a mindset. If you are in the right mindset, you’re going to make the tackle. It’s in between the ears and what’s in the chest.”

On Sunday, he’ll be tasked with pursuing Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray. In last week’s game against the St. Louis Rams (1-3), he rushed for 175 yards. For Murray, he’ll face a rookie player who had 113 total tackles, 5.5 for loss, 1.5 sacks, seven interceptions and two fumble recoveries in his senior season.

The Chargers have low expectations this season and will continue to do so as the Cowboys get the win on Sunday (-1.5, 47 o/u).

Gronk Unlikely to Play on Sunday

While the New England Patriots (3-0) are undefeated, it has come on the play of unfamiliar names. The team is impatiently awaiting the return of tight end Rob Gronkowski and it looks like this will continue for Week 4.

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski

The Patriots have said they’re “not optimistic” about Gronk playing in Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons (1-2). He did practice on a limited basis on Wednesday and Thursday but his playing status is yet be determined. The injury report has him listed with an arm and back injury with some saying it is Gronk’s back slowing down his return, reported ProFootball.com.

Last week Gronk had been listed as 50-50 to play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3) and if he couldn’t play in that game, there had been an expectation he would be “definitely playing” in Week 4.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has made do without him and wide receiver Danny Amendola but he hasn’t hidden the fact he’s frustrated with his green weapons and would welcome the talented tight end back.

Last week against the Bucs, Brady utilized six different receivers and threw two touchdown passes, showing an improvement from the Week 2 game.

In 2012, Gronk went down in Week 11 with a broken left forearm and then injured it again in the team’s first playoff game in January. The team is looking for the Pro Bowl caliber tight end to return.

This week they’ll face a banged up Falcons team who have a slight advantage for the win (-1, 49.5 o/u).

In other AFC injury news, Oakland Raiders (1-2) quarterback Terrelle Pryor got his bell rung pretty hard in last Monday’s game against the Denver Broncos (3-0). Pryor has said he doesn’t remember anything that happened after he got his concussion but on Thursday he returned practice, watching backup quarterback Matt Flynn take first-team reps. Questions linger on whether he’ll play on Sunday against the Washington Redskins (0-3) with nod likely going to Flynn.

Terrelle Pryor

Terrelle Pryor

Raiders coach Dennis Allen said on Thurday regarding Pryor via ESPN.com, “There’s still some hurdles that he has to clear but he was cleared to go ahead and non-contact practice.He was able to get in there and practice some on a limited basis today.”

The Redskins won’t mind if he’s absent and will look for their first win (-3.5, 43.5 o/u).


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