Has Antonio Gates Lost a Step?

By Ernie Padaon

Was it the Patriots suffocating defense that stopped Antonio Gates this weekend OR was is father time catching up to our All-Pro Tight End? Antonio Gates is 31 years old and he finally started missing games last season due to injury. He had never missed a start before last season. The chronic foot problems stopped him from having a spectacular season  last year and he was sidelined for the preseason this year.

Gates opened up week 1 with a healthy number of receptions, but then dropped off the face of the planet in week 2. Of course the Patriots game-planned to take Gates out of the game, but teams have game-planned to do that for years now AND that never stopped him before! He would tear teams apart with his ability to break loose from linebackers and get free for touchdowns. We just gave him a 5-year contract extension last year and we need Pro Bowl production from our Pro Bowler.

Although he does seem a step slower, he still will find ways to get open and score touchdowns. It is only 2 games of the season and he has plenty of time to step it up and start putting up some MONSTER numbers. He can start it out this weekend against the lowly Kansas City Chiefs! A MONSTER game against the Chiefs will quiet all the chatter about him losing a step.