Gates caught two of his five targets for 27 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 29-27 win over the 49ers.
Gates corralled his first touchdown of the season late in the first quarter, gathering in a five-yard red zone pass to put the Chargers up seven points in the opening frame. Other than the touchdown, however, the ageless veteran put together another typically mundane performance, ripping off a 22-yard catch-and-run for his only other play of the game. Virgil Green's grasp of the starting spot was as firm as ever Sunday, as the former Broncos tight end participated in 74 percent of the team's offensive snaps compared to just 34 percent for Gates. Unless that ratio drastically changes, neither tight end will make for a particularly consistent fantasy producer.
Gates' reception, target and yardage totals were all season bests in what amounted to an impressive showing for the 38-year-old, who had been listed as questionable on the Chargers' injury report heading into the weekend with an illness. The 16-year veteran offered more clarity into the matter after Sunday's contest, revealing that he had been battling bouts of dizziness and light-headedness throughout the past week and had been diagnosed with vertigo. Gates could receive more frequent rest in practice during subsequent weeks with the hope of avoiding a recurrence of the vertigo symptoms, but it doesn't sound like he expects the issue to impact his availability for game days. More concerning for Gates' outlook is the fact that he's not garnering a larger share of playing time at tight end, as he drew fewer offensive snaps than blocking stalwart Virgil Green for the third consecutive contest. Gates played only 22 of a possible 52 offensive snaps (42 percent) in Week 3, while Green handled 33 snaps (63 percent).
Gates sat out Wednesday's practice with an illness.
Gates should recover from the ailment in time to suit up Sunday against the Rams, but with just two targets through the Chargers' first two games, the veteran tight end is off the fantasy radar until he recaptures the previous chemistry he displayed with quarterback Philip Rivers in the red zone.
Gates did not catch his only target in Sunday's 31-20 win over the Bills.
Gates only played in 11 offensive snaps as the Chargers raced out to a substantial first half lead. The veteran tight end is expected to be used sparingly, but with a difficult matchup against the Rams next week, Gates could find himself on the field more as another receiving option.
Gates' role in Sunday's season opener against the Chiefs has yet to be determined, Jack Wang of the Los Angeles Daily News reports. "I don't think you can just throw a guy in the game -- I don't even know if he's going to play," Coach Anthony Lynn said of the recently re-signed tight end. "I've got to see what type of shape he is in and go from there. Definitely, he would be on a pitch count."
It's therefore not a big surprise that Virgil Green is listed ahead of Gates on the team's initial depth chart, but once the 38-year-old is in game shape, he figures to serve as a steady red-zone threat for QB Philip Rivers, with Hunter Henry having suffered a torn ACL in May.
|Bye: Week 8|
|9||11/4/18||@ SEA||4:05 pm|
|10||11/11/18||@ OAK||4:05 pm|
|13||12/2/18||@ PIT||1:00 pm|
|15||12/13/18||@ KC||8:20 pm|
|17||12/30/18||@ DEN||4:25 pm|
|2003||San Diego Chargers||15||11||24||389||16.2||48||2||7||1||19|
|2004||San Diego Chargers||15||15||81||964||11.9||72||13||14||1||55|
|2005||San Diego Chargers||15||15||89||1101||12.4||38||10||16||0||62|
|2006||San Diego Chargers||16||16||71||924||13.0||57||9||14||1||49|
|2007||San Diego Chargers||16||16||75||984||13.1||49||9||15||1||54|
|2008||San Diego Chargers||16||16||60||704||11.7||34||8||8||0||39|
|2009||San Diego Chargers||16||16||79||1157||14.6||56||8||18||1||61|
|2010||San Diego Chargers||10||10||50||782||15.6||48||10||15||1||42|
|2011||San Diego Chargers||13||13||64||778||12.2||38||7||8||0||45|
|2012||San Diego Chargers||15||15||49||538||11.0||34||7||5||0||30|
|2013||San Diego Chargers||16||15||77||872||11.3||56||4||11||1||49|
|2014||San Diego Chargers||16||14||69||821||11.9||34||12||12||0||44|
|2015||San Diego Chargers||11||4||56||630||11.3||40||5||5||1||33|
|2016||San Diego Chargers||14||9||53||548||10.3||27||7||5||0||34|
|2017||Los Angeles Chargers||16||4||30||316||10.5||27||3||3||0||16|
|2018||Los Angeles Chargers||6||0||10||112||11.2||27||1||2||0||7|
|2003||San Diego Chargers||15||5||5.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2004||San Diego Chargers||15||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2005||San Diego Chargers||15||4||4.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2006||San Diego Chargers||16||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2007||San Diego Chargers||16||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2008||San Diego Chargers||16||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2009||San Diego Chargers||16||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2010||San Diego Chargers||10||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2011||San Diego Chargers||13||3||3.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2012||San Diego Chargers||15||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2013||San Diego Chargers||16||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2014||San Diego Chargers||16||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2015||San Diego Chargers||11||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2016||San Diego Chargers||14||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2017||Los Angeles Chargers||16||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2018||Los Angeles Chargers||6||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2003||San Diego Chargers||15||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2004||San Diego Chargers||15||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2005||San Diego Chargers||15||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2006||San Diego Chargers||16||0||0||0||1||0||4||1||0|
|2007||San Diego Chargers||16||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2008||San Diego Chargers||16||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2009||San Diego Chargers||16||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2010||San Diego Chargers||10||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2011||San Diego Chargers||13||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2012||San Diego Chargers||15||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||0|
|2013||San Diego Chargers||16||2||2||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2014||San Diego Chargers||16||1||0||0||1||0||0||1||0|
|2015||San Diego Chargers||11||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2016||San Diego Chargers||14||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2017||Los Angeles Chargers||16||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2018||Los Angeles Chargers||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|