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Antonio Gates Passes Tony Gonzalez for Most TD Catches by a Tight End All-Time

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2017

Sep 17, 2017; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (85) is defended by Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) while making a catch during the second quarter at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Chargers tight end Antonio Gates caught his 112th touchdown pass on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, surpassing Tony Gonzalez to become the all-time leader in touchdown receptions among tight ends.

Los Angeles Chargers @Chargers

He did it! That was @AntonioGates85’s 112th career TD. He now holds the record for most all-time TDs by a TE. Congrats, Gates! #MIAvsLAC https://t.co/cu23VlSWmL

Only Jerry Rice (197), Randy Moss (156), Terrell Owens (153), Cris Carter (130) and Marvin Harrison (128) have more receiving touchdowns overall than Gates.

It was also the 85th touchdown connection between Philip Rivers and Gates, the third-most in NFL history. Only Peyton Manning to Harrison (114) and Steve Young to Rice (92) combined for more, according to Chase Stuart of Football Perspective.

On the same day that former Charger LaDainian Tomlinson was honored at Los Angeles' StubHub Center and received his Hall of Fame ring, the next future Hall of Famer from the team made history. The eight-time Pro Bowler and three-time first-team All-Pro selection will also be an easy choice for Canton, Ohio, after his career comes to a close.

That career had humble beginnings, however. Gates was undrafted out of Kent State, where he was an excellent basketball player. But football was clearly his true calling, and thus began a legendary career that has spanned 15 seasons, over 900 receptions and more than 11,000 receiving yards.

Gates, 37, will almost assuredly retire after the 2017 season. He'll do so after a career that saw him help revolutionize the tight end position and become one of the most productive players in Chargers history.

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