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.