The spate of injuries depleting the San Diego Chargers' offensive line is starting to spread throughout the roster.
Dealing with a knee injury for the first time in his 13-year NFL career, Gates has also drawn the "questionable" tag for Sunday.
"Sunday is Sunday. You try to find a way to get out there," Gates said Friday. "If you can't, you'll make sure to let the coaches know you can't do it, give them a chance to pull someone else up or whatever the case may be. I'm very optimistic in anything I do because I understand this is football. But this is obviously something I've never had an opportunity to deal with. This is my first. We'll see how it goes."
It will be a shame if he misses an attractive matchup against a Raiders defense that has been torched by tight ends this season.
"We're looking at Antonio Gates and saying, 'How in the heck is this guy still playing at such a high level?' We know we're going up against a first ballot Hall of Famer," Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said this week. "The guy is a tremendous competitor, really a fine football player and continues to do a great job."
Del Rio won't know if he has to contend with Gates until the 35-year-old tests his knee in pregame workouts.