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Will Los Angeles Chargers TE Antonio Gates be ready for the opener?

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 24: Antonio Gates #85 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates after scoring a first half touchdown reception against the New York Jets in an NFL game at MetLife Stadium on December 24, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 24: Antonio Gates #85 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates after scoring a first half touchdown reception against the New York Jets in an NFL game at MetLife Stadium on December 24, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images)
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A big question remains, will Los Angeles Chargers TE Antonio Gates be ready for the season opener on Sunday?

Ever just stop going to the gym after a long while and hope to jump right back in without doing much else in between? I know I have and it was not a pretty sight!

I am sure that Antonio Gates has done a little bit prepping for the season and I am sure that he had some clue that he would be back on the roster and likely be signed after the final game of preseason, but will he be in game shape?

This isn’t limber 25 year old Antonio Gates that we are talking about. This is 38 year old Antonio Gates! Derwin James was in 2nd grade when Antonio Gates entered into the league.

I could totally be wrong, but I don’t think that he will be game shape in the first week of the season. He will be able to contribute on a number of snaps, but fatigue is going to set in and that is when things start to get a little sloppy. I don’t want to see him get loose with the football or let a linebacker slip by for a big hit on Philip Rivers.

Gates likely will get opportunities to contribute, but Virgil Green will likely be the best option for most of the 1st week. There will be nice opportunities to get Gates on the field, but he should be limited.

What do you think? Can 38-year old Antonio Gates step right in from the offseason and take a majority of the snaps in his first game back on the field? Will he be effective? At the least, he can be a good decoy!

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