The question might not be whether the Chiefs can stop Antonio Gates, but whether Chargers coach Anthony Lynn can.
The veteran tight end hasn’t ruled out playing this week, even though the 38-year-old just signed Sunday and has had three days to prepare for the regular season.
“I’ve always been optimistic about playing in a game, whether I was injured or not here — it didn’t matter,” Gates said, via Eric Williams of ESPN.com. “So, I think I’m well aware of the preparation that needs to be put in throughout the week to go play a game at the highest level possible. With that being said . . . it just depends on how I feel leading up to Sunday.”
Lynn pumped the brakes yesterday, saying he didn’t want to risk an extended absence to put the elder tight end out there so soon, a reasonable position considering Gates didn’t participate in the of offseason program. The Chargers need the help at the position since Hunter Henry was lost for the year to a torn ACL, and who better than quarterback Philip Rivers‘ longtime target.
Of course, it took mending some feelings, as the Chargers told Gates they were ready to move on without him this offseason. But then Henry went down in May, and the subject was broached again.
“We disagreed on certain things, and I think what we agreed on is that we had an opportunity this year to be a part of this family,” Gates said. “This will always be family to me. So, it’s like forgiving a family member and then moving forward.
“Our goal is to go out and try to win a Super Bowl, and that’s what I wanted to be a part of. So that’s what we agreed on and I came to the same conclusion, and so here I am today.”
And he may be out there Sunday.