The GOAT is back and the team is trying to get him up to speed quickly.
Anthony Lynn said Antonio Gates will practice Wednesday. Lynn said he will look at Gates' conditioning before deciding if he will play vs. Chiefs. “I don’t want to put him in a position where he goes out and hurts himself, and then it sets us back four or five weeks,” Lynn said.— Eric Williams (@eric_d_williams) September 4, 2018
According to Anthony Lynn, Gates will practice on Wednesday. The team is in a rare and beneficial position when it comes to Gates, which is that he has been with the team so long, and specifically working with Quarterback Philip Rivers so long, that actual practice isn’t a big concern.
As Lynn stated, what is a concern is Gates’ conditioning. He hasn’t played a snap of NFL football since December. You have to assume that he took a sizeable chunk of that time not really doing anything. He probably only started doing REAL training sessions after Hunter Henry got hurt. Add to that the fact that he is 38 years old and it is a pretty safe bet to assume he isn’t in “football shape.”
Obviously the team doesn’t need, or want, him to be an every down player. However, he needs to be in good enough shape that they don’t have to worry about him getting an injury like a pulled hamstring which would keep him out for a few weeks.
Lynn is playing it safe here, which is a good thing. He was asked yesterday if Gates would be on a snap count and his response was “definitely. I don’t even know if he’s going to play because we don’t know what kind of shape he’s in. But if he plays he’ll definitely be on a snap count.”
So I wouldn’t be in a hurry to get him in your fantasy lineups just yet.