Melvin Ingram injury: Chargers hope LB can make return in 2013

USA TODAY Sports

Melvin Ingram will miss at least the first six games of the season, but the Chargers didn't put him on season-ending injured reserve yet.

When Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram tore his ACL in May, many expected it to cost the second-year linebacker the entire 2013 season. The Chargers, however, placed Ingram on the Reserve-Physically Unable to Perform list, leaving open the possibility of a return this season.

By placing Ingram on the Reserve-PUP list, he will be forced to sit out at least the first six games of the season. Had San Diego placed him on injured reserve, his 2013 season would be over. Ingram will be eligible to begin practicing during a window from Week 6 to Week 11. If he returns to practice, San Diego will have 21 days to activate him. If Williams remains on the Reserve-PUP list beyond the 21 days, he's not be eligible to be activated for the rest of the season.

More on the Chargers: Bolts From The Blue

The move doesn't mean Ingram is likely to return this season. The typical recovery from a torn ACL is between six and nine months and even if Ingram recovered on the low end of that timetable, he'll still likely miss all but the final month of the regular season. That would require Ingram to rush back and suffer next to no setbacks along the way.

The Chargers may instead to not take the risk with their 2012 first-round pick and give him a full season to recover. The team took a similar approach with wide receiver Vincent Brown last season. Brown returned to practice late in the year, but the Chargers opted against activating him.

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