(photo credit: Chargers)
by Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
LOS ANGELES — It was like old times at the Chargers practice facility as tight end Antonio Gates approached the podium with all smiles. The 38-year old signed a one year deal with the Bolts, the only thing missing from the Wednesday afternoon presser was a theme song from Jay-Z and Scarface “Guess Who’s Back”.
Fitting only as Gates took us through the re-signing process. Last March, the Chargers informed Gates’ agent that the team had no intentions to resign the future hall of famer.
Apparently after an unfortunate Hunter Henry ACL injury, decisions change.
“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.”
From the moment Gates arrived at the facility it’s been a vibe of happiness and excitement. One teammate in particular, quarterback Philip Rivers expressed his excitement on Gates return.
“It’s like he’s never left,” Rivers said smiling. “It’s like he’s been here all season and all training camp. It will be good to have him out there today in practice and good to have him back in the building.”
Now that Gates is back on the roster, the focused became how ready will he’ll be for Sunday’s home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs at Stub Hub Center. Head coach Anthony Lynn remained optimistic on his status for Sunday.
“I’m going to watch him closely this week,” Lynn said. “I want to know where he is conditioning-wise. We know that he can help us. That’s why we brought him back.”
Gates gives the Bolts a huge option inside the red zone and on third down conversation opportunities.
“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”, Gates said.“With that being said … it just depends on how I feel leading up to Sunday.”
The Chargers look to end the eight game losing streak against the Kansas City Chiefs at 1:05 PM PT on Sept 9 on CBS.