The slumping Chargers are dealing with plenty of problems these days, but we didn’t think to count All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates among them. But one team source singled out Gates in diagnosing the ills that have befallen the 4-4 Chargers.
“It’s harsh to say, but he looks old and fat,” the source told Yahoo! Sports in a story posted Monday. “He’s not beating people. We don’t have any speed, we’re soft on defense, and we put so much on our quarterback. When he was playing great, we could kind of get away with it. Now he’s not playing very well, and it’s all falling apart.”
Gates has been a steady producer since returning to the lineup in Week 7 — including eight catches for 96 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s loss to the Packers — but the chronic foot ailment that blew up his 2010 season has followed him into 2011. He’s already missed three games with the issue, and it’s clear by his practice schedule that the Chargers are treating him like a piece of fine china.