Relative for him, Chargers tight end Antonio Gates has struggled the past two seasons, in terms of both durability and on-field effectiveness. Gates set out in the offseason to shed weight in hopes of improving his speed and quickness.
And so far in training camp, the weight loss appears to be paying on-field dividends.
“The best thing is, he can actually run,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport stated on Inside Training Camp Live on Tuesday. “… He’s in shape. He looks skinny. He was burning cornerbacks left and right in practice. … He is feeling healthier now than he’s been in a couple of years.
“He is really looking like he’s primed for a big, big season.”
Following the offseason departure of Vincent Jackson, the Chargers will likely turn to Gates as their No. 1 option in the passing game. Healthy and in the best shape of his life, it’s hard not to like Gates’ chances of rediscovering elite form.