Gates is currently suffering from a foot injury that he sustained last season and caused him to miss six games. He has already missed one game this year, and is likely to miss more. With gates MIA, Chargers tickets sales have stayed stagnate. We can only hope that he returns to the field soon!
In a press conference on Wednesday, Gates indicated that it would be very difficult for him to play this week, and he simply did not sound confident that only one week would be missed. During the off-season between the 2010 and 2011 seasons, doctors told Gates that he would likely be healed and would not have any lingering pain in his foot. These opinions clearly have not held true, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Chargers will likely ask Gates to sit for a few more weeks and make a return some time after the Chargers’ Week 6 bye.
The loss of Gates comes at a time when the offense is really struggling. Last week against Kansas City, the Chargers were barely able to squeak out a win, as they found it difficult to move the ball against the Chiefs. Without Gates, they must rely more on wide receivers Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd. Philip Rivers will also look in the direction of Randy McMichael who will be filling in for Gates until he can make it back to the field. It will be a very difficult task to replace the talent of Gates, but Rivers has proven time and again that he can win with minimal talent surrounding him.
In other Chargers injury news, strong safety Bob Sanders has been placed on injured reserve this week. For Sanders, it’s a different team with the same old story. Sanders, who was with the Indianapolis Colts for seven years, just cannot stay healthy for an entire season. He has not played an entire sixteen game season since joining the NFL in 2004. The San Diego Chargers signed him to a one year deal this year hoping that he would be able to bolster a depleted secondary, but during his third game with the team, he suffered a season ending knee injury.
When healthy, Bob Sanders can be an extremely high-impact, hard-hitting player in the mold of Troy Polamalu. Unfortunately, since 2008, he has not played more than 6 games in a single season, and has left each one with a serious injury. It is doubtful that any team will take a chance on Sanders after his latest injury.
Finally, Ryan Mathews was limited in practice on Wednesday due to a foot injury as well. When speaking to the media, both Mathews and coach Norv Turner did not sound like the injury was too serious and that Mathews was limited more as a precaution. Turner often limits his players in practice early in the week to give them rest, so there is no cause for panic Chargers fans. Mathews is expected to practice in full later this week and suit-up against the Miami Dolphins this Sunday.