Antonio Gates Injury: Updates on Chargers TE's Hamstring and Return

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured Columnist

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 06:  Tight end Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers warms up for the game with the Denver Broncos at Qualcomm Stadium on December 6, 2015 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates was dealing with a hamstring injury that had kept him out since Week 3, but he is ready to return.

Continue for updates.

Gates Active vs. Raiders

Sunday, Oct. 9

The Chargers announced Gates was available to play against the Oakland Raiders in Week 5.

Latest on Gates' Practice Status 

Friday, Oct. 7

Gates participated in practice for the third straight day, according to Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Gates a Longtime Elite Target for Chargers

Gates has long operated as one of quarterback Philip Rivers' top receiving threats, but his target share has steadily decreased over the past two seasons. 

After Rivers targeted Gates 99 times during the 2014 season, the 6'4", 255-pound seam-buster notched just 84 targets a year ago, when a suspension and MCL sprain limited him to 11 games. 

This year, Gates has struggled to find consistency in a Chargers offense that has pivoted to receivers Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams after it lost Danny Woodhead and Keenan Allen for the season with ACL tears.

Thus far, Gates has notched just six catches for 35 yards and one touchdown on nine total targets. 

And while the 36-year-old may not stretch the field like he did in his prime, his status as Rivers' safety blanket in crucial red-zone situations hasn't changed.

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