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Many Checkpoints Remain Before Ingram Activated
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Watching Melvin Ingram back on the practice field was definitely a welcomed sight. The team’s first round draft choice in 2012 was his usual chipper self on the field, working hard with the big grin that has endeared him to teammates and coaches alike.
“He did a nice job,” said Head Coach Mike McCoy. “He’s a little rusty in certain areas which is expected, but it’s great to have him back out there. He’s been chomping at the bit for a long time to get out there… He loves the game. He’s been around the whole year. Ever since he had his injury in the offseason he’s been out there (rehabbing), he’s in a lot of the meetings and he goes on the road with us and everything. We’re looking forward to getting him back out there.”
However, the team knows there are a number of checkpoints he’ll need to clear in order to be activated over the course of the next three weeks.
It’s been approximately five months since Ingram tore his anterior cruciate ligament early during OTA’s. Even though he has returned to practice, he can remain on the PUP list for up to three weeks until Tuesday, Dec. 10. At any point over the next 21 days, the Bolts can either add him to the active, 53-man roster or keep him on PUP for the remainder of the season.
All things considered, how did McCoy feel Ingram fared in his first day back at practice?
“I think he was as expected,” he said. “He’s got a ways to go and I think he’ll tell you the same thing, whether it’s his conditioning level or just the techniques, doing certain things and just playing ball again. When you’re out of it for that long it knocks some of the rust off on a daily basis. He worked extremely hard. He’s been chomping at the bit. If he could have been out there a month ago he would have tried to get out there somehow. He’s got a great attitude and a great approach to what we’re trying to do.”
While Ingram admits he does still have a long way to go, he relished the opportunity to once again be out there with his teammates.
“It’s a blessing to have the opportunity to step back out there on the field,” he said with his trademark grin. “Since the day I got hurt I’ve been waiting (to get back out there), so it’s just been a long process…I’m going to just put it all on the trainers and the coaches and we’re going to take it day by day.”
Ingram had a strong rookie season in which he tied for the second-most on the team with 18 quarterback pressures. He finished the season with 29 tackles, five tackles for loss, five passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one sack. Ingram also tied for the team lead with 12 special teams tackles. He played in all 16 games with two starts.
Even though he’s disappointed he suffered an injury that has sidelined him this long, Ingram takes a unique perspective toward the situation.
“It’s kind of been a blessing,” he said. “Just having the opportunity to be hurt is something that sits you down and opens your eyes. It lets you know it can be taken away at any day, so it’s just a blessing in disguise.”
The Bolts return to Qualcomm Stadium on Dec. 1 for the first of four home games in the month of December when they take on Andy Dalton, A.J. Green and the AFC North leading Cincinnati Bengals. Make sure you are here to cheer on the Chargers. Click here to purchase! Read