Antonio Gates is a nice option behind Virgil Green on the Los Angeles Chargers offense. Right now he is depth and a 3rd down tight end.
It is nice to have Antonio Gates back on the roster to bring depth at the tight end position. He gets to fill that role of a 3rd down threat and a red zone threat. He had been playing that role last year behind Hunter Henry and he gets to do it again this year behind Virgil Green.
Against the Buffalo Bills, TE Virgil Green showed up and showed out. He showed that he can hold his own as the starter and the he can be a good option in the passing game. His biggest strength is opening up holes in the running game. Since he can provide both, he will see the time on the field.
Virgil finished the game with 3 catches for 55 yards. He was impressive after the catch with a mean stiff arm and some tough running after the catch. If he can prove to be a solid option for Philip in the passing game, he should get the call a few times during games.
All the attention from opposing defenders are going to Keenan Allen or Mike Williams. Then they are going to cover over the top against Travis Benjamin and they are going to watch the crossing routes with Tyrell Williams. They have to cover underneath with Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler. There are too many options for defenders to cover and the last place they will be looking is Virgil Green.
With Green showing up as a nice option in the passing game, we can bring in Gates as a 3rd down and red zone threat. This is a long season and we should try to keep Gates fresh for the whole year. Gates only played in 11 snaps last week against the Bills, but we will see what it looks like when the Chargers are in a game that is a little closer in the end. We will see how much work Gates gets against the Rams this week.
Gates will make plays for us this year. He will get his share of touchdowns and big first downs. He isn’t the top option on offense like he used to be, but he still will draw attention because of his reputation and that will be valuable in big situations.