Gates Could Become 2nd Tight End to Reach 110 Receiving Touchdowns Sunday

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffNovember 29, 2016

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 13:  Philip Rivers #17,  Melvin Gordon #28,  Antonio Gates #85, and  King Dunlap #77 of the San Diego Chargers huddle during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Qualcomm Stadium on November 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates needs just one touchdown to top 110 for his career, per NFL.com Milestone Tracker.

Gates had the same opportunity to simultaneously reach 110 touchdowns and 11,000 career receiving yards last week, needing 66 receiving yards in addition to the one touchdown reception.

However, the Houston Texans managed to hold the veteran without a catch or even a target in the contest. It was the first time since Week 2 of 2011 that Gates was held without a catch, per Chargers.com.

It didn't keep the Chargers from winning the game, 21-13, to move their record to 5-6 on the season. They've also won four of their last six games.

Prior to Gates, the only tight end to tally 110 receiving scores in his career thus far is Tony Gonzalez, per Pro-Football-Reference.com. The Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons great finished his career with 111 total, giving Gates a chance to at least tie him with a couple of scores next Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Gates hasn't slowed too much this season despite turning 36 years old in June, recording 30 catches for 290 yards and five touchdowns through nine games. While he's no longer challenging some of the outputs early in his career, his performance this season has still been impressive.

San Diego may have drafted Gates' heir apparent at tight end in 2016 second-round pick (35th overall) Hunter Henry. There aren't many better options to teach the rookie, and Henry has produced an admirable 26 catches for 371 yards and five touchdowns.

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The duo represents one of the most lethal tight end combos in the league this season. In fact, they own the most touchdowns among pairings at the position in the league. The New England Patriots and Washington Redskins tight ends are the closest with seven.

When Gates finally does call it quits, it appears the Chargers may have a smooth transition at the position.


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