Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Chargers TE Antonio Gates has torn his plantar fascia and is barely able to walk while rehabbing the injury. He quotes a specialist that believes that the demands of Gates' position would make it too difficult for him to play. He also mentions that Gates himself said after the Titans game that he wouldn't be able to face Houston.
The Chargers are already going to be without WRs Vincent Jackson, Malcom Floyd, Legedu Naanee and Buster Davis for the game. Chances are we'll see more of Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert running the ball, Darren Sproles and Jacob Hester catching the ball out of the backfield and some additional catches for Patrick Crayton, Seyi Ajirotutu, Gary Banks, Randy McMichael and Kris Wilson.
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The Chargers faced a similar situation against the Patriots when Gates was used mostly as a decoy for the majority of the game before catching a TD pass late. In the game vs the Patriots the Chargers were undone mainly by fumbles and not necessarily because the passing game struggled. However, it still begs the question of how much influence the future Hall of Fame TE has on the passing game even when he is just a decoy? Philip Rivers will still be able to make passes and move the chains, but will the offense be effective enough to do some of the amazing things they are asked to do week in and week out?
The bye week follows the Houston game and personally I'm going to forgo thinking about the length of this injury until that week passes. Here's what the specialist was quoted as saying about the injury:
Dr. Phillip Kwong, a foot specialist with the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic, said people find it difficult to walk for two weeks or more after tearing a plantar fascia.
"I think it’s going to be really tough to play with any proficiency this Sunday, unless they do a remarkable job anesthetizing him," Kwong said. "… He has a lot of demands on him at his position," Kwong said. "This injury will make it difficult for him to push off and be explosive."