The San Diego Chargers announced that seven-time Pro Bowl tight end Antonio Gates has been placed on injured reserve.
Gates has missed the last three weeks with a painful foot injury that was expected to sideline for the remainder of the regular season, and perhaps post-season, had the Chargers advanced.
San Diego was eliminated from playoff contention when they lost to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
Limited to 10 games this season, Gates caught 50 passes for 782 yards and 10 touchdowns, earning a starting assignment in the 2011 Pro Bowl.
Fullback Billy Latsko has been signed to replace Gates on the 53-man roster.