Antonio Gates, Chargers Have Discussed Reunion After Hunter Henry Injury

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJune 14, 2018

CARSON, CA - DECEMBER 10:  Tight end Antonio Gates #85 of the Los Angeles Chargers laughs and gestures during warmups for the game against the Washington Redskins on December 10, 2017 at StubHub Center in Carson, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Los Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco confirmed Wednesday that the club has reached out to free-agent tight end Antonio Gates after Hunter Henry suffered a season-ending ACL tear last month.   

"Obviously, Antonio would be a natural fit," Telesco told 97.3 The Fan in San Diego (h/t the Los Angeles Daily News' Jack Wang). "He's someone that we have talked to. We've talked to his representatives. Sometimes, it's not just as easy as saying, 'Hey, let’s just bring him back. Let's go.'"

Telesco previously called Gates a "natural fit" during a live chat with Chargers fans, per NFL.com's Marc Sessler

Quarterback Philip Rivers has also endorsed the move. 

"I'd always be excited if he walked back in the door," he said, per Wang. "...It would get my vote."

Gates, who turns 38 on Monday, spent the first 15 years of his career with the Chargers. However, the Chargers informed him in April that they weren't re-signing him. 

The franchise's all-time receiving leader finished last season with 30 receptions for 316 yards and three touchdowns.