Even NFL players aren’t immune to the ravages time takes on the human body.
Any of us who have reached our fourth decade on the planet are aware that the body doesn’t react quite the same way it did when we were 19 or 20. You don’t bounce back from nights at the bar as well, you can’t eat anything under the sun without finding unsightly bulges around your body and parts of your body hurt even though you don’t remember doing anything to injure them. Managing these realities becomes an outsized part of life.
Chargers tight end Antonio Gates turns 32 next week and he’s starting to notice some of those developments in his life. He doesn’t want the march of time to bring his career to an end, which is why he’s trying to lower his playing weight this season.
“I’ve always felt deeply that as you get older, you have to lose a little weight,” said Gates, via the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I’ve always played at 260. I felt like this year, I can play at 255 … That’s just the key. When I watch guys who have longevity and played for 15, 16 years, one thing I continuously hear is guys maintaining health, maintaining weight. They control their weight.”
If the difference in weight also helps Gates steer clear of the foot issues that have bothered him the last two seasons, all the better. Gates said that the foot is doing fine right now, enabling him to do more in practice and do it more often. That could lead to a more productive season and the Chargers will take that no matter what size package it comes in.