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.