However, Chargers coach Mike McCoy held out hope that Gates could somehow make it on the field on Sunday, noting that the veteran tight end doesn’t need much practice time to get ready to play.
“That’s Antonio,” McCoy said. “We all understand what he can do. So we’ll see how it goes the next couple days.”
If Gates can’t go, the Chargers likely will have to add Asante Cleveland from the practice squad to the active roster so that they can have three healthy tight ends available for Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.
And with Gates unavailable, rookie Hunter Henry could get more targets in the passing game.
“A lot of times it gets overlooked when you don’t get a chance to catch a lot of passes because it seems like in the league of fantasy football, that’s what everybody’s judged by,” Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said about Henry. “But he’s done a really good job in the blocking aspect of the game. We feel like he’s a tremendous receiver, but when you’ve got a guy like Gates that’s a pretty good receiver too, it doesn’t give you as many opportunities.”
Defensive end Joey Bosa participated in practice all week as a limited participant due to a lingering hamstring injury, but has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Colts.
However, Bosa continues to make progress and has a chance to make his debut next week at Qualcomm Stadium against the New Orleans Saints.
“He’s getting better every day,” McCoy said about Bosa. “And that’s the key thing. We pushed him a little more than we have this week. Wednesday he had a certain routine he went through, then yesterday and today we gave him a little more.
“Like we keep saying, it’s going to be one day at a time. When you have an injury, that’s how you have to approach every player. This is something new for him, but he’s getting better. “
McCoy went on to say that it was critical for Bosa to get his first padded practice in this week to help with his confidence as he tries to make his way back on the field.
Along with Gates, safety Jahleel Addae (clavicle) has been ruled out for Sunday. Addae had surgery this week to repair the issue and was an observer at practice on Friday.
Guard Orlando Franklin (hamstring) was a full participant at practice on Friday and is questionable. Tackle King Dunlap (illness) and receiver Tyrell Williams (shoulder) were full participants and are healthy enough to play against the Colts.