“There’s still such a suddenness there, even at the age of 36,” Rivers said. “He still looks fast. He’s sharp.”
Gates should still put up decent numbers this season.
After missing the first four games of last season due to a suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, Gates limped through the second half of 2015 following an MCL knee sprain in a Week 6 loss against the Green Bay Packers. Despite the suspension and being slowed by injury, he finished the season with 56 catches for 630 yards and five touchdowns.
The Chargers drafted Hunter Henry in the second round of this year’s NFL draft to be Gates’ eventual replacement for a reason. Gates is near the end of a remarkable NFL career. Still, Gates is 12th on our TE list making him a low-end TE1 option. We project him for a 60-685-6.8 line this season making him a solid, late-round option. Buyers should probably have a backup plan, however.