Antonio Gates Injury: Updates on Chargers TE's Week 3 Status and Fantasy Value

Alex KayCorrespondent ISeptember 20, 2012

SAN DIEGO - OCTOBER 31:  Tight end Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers celebrates a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the game at Qualcomm Stadium on October 31, 2010 in San Diego, California. The Chargers defeated the Titans 33-25.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The San Diego Chargers need Antonio Gates now more than ever.

They have an impending matchup with one of the best teams in the league—the Atlanta Falcons—this coming Sunday. Having their superstar tight end on the field would be a major boost to San Diego’s chances of victory.

According to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the eight-time Pro Bowl TE was back at practice on Wednesday. He’s expected to play on Sunday, barring any setbacks.

Gates suffered a rib injury in the season opener against the Oakland Raiders and was held out of the Bolts' Week 2 contest vs. the Tennessee Titans. He recorded four catches for 43 yards in his only appearance of the 2012 season.

Coach Norv Turner told Gehlken that Gates was “looking good” in Wednesday’s practice, proving to the team that he could “move fast.” He may be in line for another full practice on Thursday if his body responds kindly to the workout.

San Diego should also be getting another weapon back, as running back Ryan Mathews is set to return to action after missing the first two games while recovering from a broken clavicle he sustained in the preseason.

His presence should open up some more space for Gates, Malcom Floyd and the rest of the Chargers receivers to get open against single coverage. QB Philip Rivers should have no problem finding these players and helping them put up scores.

Keep it tuned to B/R for more news, information, updates, opinions and analysis on Antonio Gates' possible return from injury and his potential fantasy impact.