But one team source singled out Gates in diagnosing the ills that have befallen the 4-4 Chargers.
âItâs harsh to say, but he looks old and fat,â the source told Yahoo! Sports in a story posted Monday. âHeâs not beating people. We donât have any speed, weâre soft on defense, and we put so much on our quarterback. When he was playing great, we could kind of get away with it. Now heâs not playing very well, and itâs all falling apart.â
(You have to love the guy who qualifies a statement with "It's harsh to say," then completely buries one of his team's longtime stars.)
Gates has been a steady producer since returning to the lineup in Week 7 -- including eight catches for 96 yards and one touchdown in Sunday's 45-38 loss to the Packers -- but the chronic foot ailment that blew up his 2010 season has followed him into 2011. He's already missed three games with the issue, and it's clear by his practice schedule that the Chargers are treating him like a piece of fine china.
Meanwhile, we wouldn't be surprised if Gates is asking around team headquarters this week, trying to find the driver who backed the bus over him. It'd be especially ironic if said unnamed source was old and/or fat himself.