Friday, November 20, 2015, 6:29pm
Chargers TE Antonio Gates (knee, hip, probable) returned to take limited reps Friday after missing practice Thursday and is probable for Week 11. Gates will be fine to play in Week 11, though according to beat writer Michael Gehlken, he’s dealing with a hip injury that has developed as he has attempted to compensate for his knee. His role will increase with Keenan Allen out for the year and Malcom Floyd out for Week 11.
Thursday, November 19, 2015, 5:53pm
Chargers TE Antonio Gates (knee) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Gates should be fine to play in Week 11, though according to beat writer Michael Gehlken, he’s dealing with a hip injury that has developed as he has attempted to compensate for his knee. His role will increase with Keenan Allen out for the year and Malcom Floyd potentially out for Week 11.
Antonio Gates sprained his knee 30 days ago. A month later, he's still not up to full speed.
"Everybody can see it," Gates said Monday after the Chargers returned from six days off.
Gates has played in two of three games since he wrenched the knee Oct. 18 at Green Bay. The tight end made 10 catches over the two games, but looked less mobile than before the injury. Defenders banged him near the line of scrimmage because they didn't think he could run away. More able to tee him up, they dealt him hard hits after catches.
Gates said it's all about doing what he can to help, even if he feels like he's running in mud.
The 10 catches came in 16 targets and totaled 125 yards. In his two games before the injury, he had 18 catches in 27 targets for 187 yards with two touchdowns. Gates has still been pretty productive and will likely remain a TE1 option in our rankings, but owners may think about a replacement as long as they have a better, higher-rated option.
"I can feel it. I feel the sharp pains in cuts. I can’t explode. The fatigue in certain parts of my leg. I know it’s all from compensating from the knee.
“I’m just trying to fight through it and lead by example to show these guys what it’s like to be a pro in this league. This is what it takes to be successful. Sometimes, you have to fight through these situations when it’s not as comfortable as you’d like.”
The Chargers have a Week 10 bye, so we're expecting Gates to be close to full health with two weeks to heal. Gates hasn't been "explosive" for a couple of years now, but he looked slower than usual against Chicago.
C Hroniss Grasu (neck)
T Jermon Bushrod (shoulder), CB Bryce Callahan (concussion), LB Shea McClellin (knee), LB Pernell McPhee (knee), TE Zach Miller (shoulder)
G Orlando Franklin (knee), TE Ladarius Green (ankle)
DT Corey Liuget (foot), CB Patrick Robinson (concussion), S Darrell Stuckey (hamstring), CB Jason Verrett (groin), S Eric Weddle (groin)
CB Brandon Flowers (knee), TE Antonio Gates (knee)
Friday, November 6, 2015, 6:19pm
Chargers TE Antonio Gates (knee) took limited practice reps again Friday. After playing through the injury last week, and practicing all week, we’re expecting him to play on Monday night, barring a setback.
Thursday, November 5, 2015, 6:20pm
Friday, October 30, 2015, 6:45pm
Chargers TE Antonio Gates (knee, questionable) missed practice all week and is questionable for Week 8. Gates wasn’t close to playing last week and has elected not to get an MRI to determine the severity of the injury. For now, we’re assuming he’s out for Week 8, though the questionable tag means he has a chance to play. The Chargers play early this week, but if he’s out, Ladarius Green is locked in as a strong TE1.
Thursday, October 29, 2015, 6:14pm
Chargers TE Antonio Gates (knee) missed practice again Thursday. Gates wasn’t close to playing last week and has elected not to get an MRI to determine the severity of the injury. For now, we’re assuming he’s out for Week 8. The Chargers play early this week, but if he’s out, Ladarius Green is locked in as a strong TE1.
Antonio Gates is keeping himself in the dark.
He is unsure the exact nature of his knee injury. And he likes it that way.
The Chargers tight end said Monday that he's foregone MRI testing on his left MCL sprain, which he suffered two Sundays ago in Green Bay. He prefers an old-school approach, listening to his body to determine when he can return to the field. As the chance that his MCL could sideline him multiple weeks seems to grow, he may have an MRI as early as this week if the knee doesn't progress as hoped, he said.
"I'm playing it by ear," Gates said. "I'll see how it feels on Wednesday, Thursday. If I still can't go, then I'm going to try to look at it to see what the root of the problem is, what really is going on. Right now, it's a feel thing. I know my body. (The athletic trainers) trust me to make the right choice."
It's an odd approach. Typically teams insist on having all the information when making a decision about a player's availability. We'll keep an eye on Gates's status this week, but for now we're assuming he's out for Week 8. With Gates sidelined, Ladarius Green is a bona fide TE1. He has averaged 10.0 FP (standard) in four games in which he's played and Gates has not.
Friday, October 23, 2015, 7:16pm
Chargers WR Stevie Johnson (hamstring, questionable) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week and is questionable for Week 7. Johnson is tentatively on track to return against the Raiders. With Keenan Allen and Antonio Gates both banged up, this is good news for Philip Rivers and Co.
Friday, October 23, 2015, 7:16pm
Chargers TE Antonio Gates (knee, questionable) missed practice all week and is questionable for Week 7. It was revealed today that Gates has a sprained MCL, which is something that he says he’s “not accustomed to dealing with.” He’s going to be a game-time decision for a late kickoff on Sunday. Ladarius Green is already a Sneaky Start given the matchup — Oakland is last in TE aFPA — but if Gates is out, Green will be a top 7 option. He was the #11 TE through the first four weeks and even missed Week 3.
Thursday, October 22, 2015, 6:35pm
Chargers TE Antonio Gates (knee) did not practice Wednesday or Thursday. Gates injured the knee late in the game against the Packers, so this may be an issue heading into Week 7. Ladarius Green is already a Sneaky Start given the matchup — Oakland is last in TE aFPA — but if Gates is out, Green will be a top 7 option. He was the #11 TE through the first four weeks and missed Week 3. The Chargers play late on Sunday. For what it’s worth, the Chargers don’t seem too concerned about Gates’s status.
Veteran tight end Antonio Gates returns to Chargers Park this week to begin preparation for his first regular-season game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football. Gates was suspended the first four weeks of the season for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Ladarius Green filled in admirably with Gates gone. Green is fourth on the team in receptions with 14 for 174 yards and two scores. But Green missed a Week 3 game against the Minnesota Vikings because of a concussion, and does not command the type of attention from an opposing defense that Gates demands.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers also gets his security blanket back in Gates. The two have combined for the most touchdowns by a quarterback and a tight end duo in NFL history with 72. His 99 touchdowns since joining the NFL as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Kent State in 2003 are the most in the NFL by any player over the last 12 seasons.
And Gates' 36 touchdown catches on third-down plays rank fourth in league history among all players, and most among tight ends.
"We'll be excited to have him back in there," Rivers said. "He helps us on the field and in the locker room. We've certainly missed him. So it will be a plus. We're acquiring a Hall of Fame free agent here in about 24 hours."
It's great timing for the Chargers who have potentially lost WRs Malcom Floyd (concussion) and Stevie Johnson (hamstring) for Week 5. Gates should have a role right away upon his return as a result, but it remains to be seen how quickly he'll be back to game-form. With a lack for WRs, the Bolts may show more two, TE looks this week. It appears more and more Green's targets could take a hit, perhaps especially in the red zone where Gates is expected to be a big weapon.
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