Philip Rivers would “vote” for Chargers to bring back Antonio Gates

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The moment the Chargers lost tight end Hunter Henry for the season was the moment speculation began that the team might elect to bring back Antonio Gates for one more year.

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is all for the move.

“Well, shoot, I’d always be excited if he walked back in the door obviously,” Rivers said, via video released by the team. “That’s something that Tom [Telesco] and John [Spanos] and coach [Anthony Lynn] and those guys I’m sure will discuss and see about bringing anybody in for that matter, but certainly [Gates’ return] would get my vote.”

Gates, 37, remains a free agent, and the Chargers already had announced they were moving on before Henry tore his ACL last week. Rivers and Gates have talked since Henry’s injury.

“You hate it for Hunter,” Rivers said. “If something were to happen down the road [with Gates returning], he wouldn’t have wanted to come that way, with Hunter’s absence. That was really more of our conversation.

“[Gates] is doing good. I think this time of year for him, even in this last few years of his career, I don’t know that he’s doing a ton different then he was. He stayed ready. He wasn’t here a ton this time of year. He was always getting himself ready with him family, with his children. I’m sure he’s in shape and will be ready if called on and that’s something he’s interested in.”

Teleso, the team’s General Manager, said the Chargers would “look at all the options that are out there.”

Virgil Green, Braedon Bowman and Sean Culkin are among the tight ends already on the roster.