Chargers linebacker Manti Te'o returns to practice after missing 6 games with fractured foot

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SAN DIEGO — Reinforcements are on the way for the San Diego Chargers, who hope to snap a three-game losing streak when they host the winless Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

Running back Ryan Mathews was on the practice field for the second time in as many weeks on Wednesday, and linebackers Manti Te'o and Melvin Ingram practiced for the first time since September.

"It felt good to be out there with the fellas," Te'o said.

Mathews and Te'o expect to play against the Raiders. Ingram still needs to be added to the active roster, and it's not clear yet whether that will happen before Sunday.

"I'm hoping," said Te'o, who had been out since fracturing his right foot in a victory at Buffalo on Sept. 21. "We are working whenever my number is called that I will be ready."

Te'o, coming off his third foot injury in two seasons, doesn't expect to be restricted.

"For me when I am playing out there I'm playing as fast as I can," the former Notre Dame star said.

Mathews has been out since spraining his right knee in a victory against Seattle on Sept. 14. He practiced during the Chargers' lone bye-week workout.

"I feel great," he said. "I've been watching from the sidelines. I mean, it's hard to watch my teammates, my friends, go out there and have fun and play the game. I'm just happy to be back out there."

Ingram has been on the injured reserve/designated for return list since Sept. 20 with a hip injury. The Chargers have three weeks to add him to the active roster.

In order to be activated before Sunday, Ingram says he needs to "just come out here and try to get better and keep doing what the trainers and coaches tell me to do."

The Chargers (5-4) need all the help they can get because they've struggled to run the ball and rush the quarterback. They're coming off a 37-0 loss at Miami on Nov. 2, their worst defeat in 18 years.

Still, they know everybody has to play better.

"I think the energy is more so that we need to get a win," safety Eric Weddle said. "Getting these guys back is a positive, but we are not relying on them to turn this thing around.

"We've all got to play better and mix those guys in there and they will help. But let's not get it blown out like they are going to come back and make this huge difference. Let's just ease them back in and let them get back to full game speed. Hopefully they can give us something. We've got to play fast and physical and go out and play the best game that we have to date. That is what our focus is."

The Chargers had to rally to beat the Raiders 31-28 victory in Oakland on Oct. 12. The Chargers' losing streak started the following week with a 23-20 home loss to Kansas City and continued with a 35-21 defeat at Denver.


Follow Bernie Wilson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/berniewilson


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