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Bolts React to Manti Te'o's Season Ending Injury

It's a Monday occurrence that has become far too familiar for the San Diego Chargers.

Along with their typical routine of watching game film and attending team meetings, they've learned that another key player has been lost to a season ending injury.

This time, it's the loss of defensive captain Manti Te'o, who injured his Achilles in the first quarter Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.  Further evaluations this morning confirmed that it's a tear that will cost him the rest of 2016.

Just like with Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead, losing Te'o is a blow both on the field and in the locker room.  The fourth year linebacker spends so much time around the facility day in and day out that Head Coach Mike McCoy said he virtually lives at Chargers Park.

"Manti Te'o, he lives (for the game)," McCoy said.  "I mean, he lives and dies football every single day. Some guys, it is just bad luck with what he has dealt with in the early part of his career…. He is another one of those guys that you feel for (with) the way he's worked, what he's done (and) what he means to our organization. It's a shame."

The Chargers are a tight knit team.

However, there may not be a closer pair of teammates than Te'o and Denzel Perryman.  The two inside linebackers have been inseparable from the moment Perryman was drafted in 2015. Asked about Te'o's injury, the second-year inside linebacker grew so emotional he warned he might cry.

"This is really tough, especially on me," he said. "I'm really close to Manti.  That's like my brother off the field.  That's big bro.  It's pretty tough.  On the sideline, he pretty much told me, 'It's your team.  Take over.  This is what you do.'… (We'll miss) his presence.  Manti is one of those leaders on the defense."

Perryman is far from the only Chargers linebacker who owes a great deal to Te'o. 

Number 50 has taken a rookie linebacker under his wing each season following his rookie year. In 2014, that teammate was OLB Jerry Attaochu, last year was Perryman and this season, he's been an invaluable resource to fifth-round pick Jatavis Brown. 

The rookie inside linebacker will now be counted on to take Te'o's place, and he detailed how much Te'o has meant to him over the last five months.

"Manti is a role model for me," he said. "A guy I look up to. He knows the system inside and out.  He's a guy I look up to."

Similarly, Attaochu didn't mince words when talking about Te'o, explaining how the defense must rally around their captain. 

"Man, it sucks," he said while shaking his head.  "I mean, it really sucks just not having him in that room.  That's the part of it I miss the most. His energy, it's special.  We've got to keep his spirits up by working hard for him. Doing it for him is definitely now a motivating factor."

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