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Report: Source says 'old and fat' Gates an issue in San Diego

  • By Dan Hanzus NFL.com
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The slumping San Diego Chargers are dealing with plenty of problems these days, but we didn't think to count All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates among them.

But one team source singled out Gates in diagnosing the ills that have befallen the 4-4 Chargers.

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“It’s harsh to say, but he looks old and fat,” the source told Yahoo! Sports in a story posted Monday. “He’s not beating people. We don’t have any speed, we’re 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 he’s not playing very well, and it’s all falling apart.”

(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.

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