But even after a long holiday weekend, he didn't come away with the feeling that Gates is an intentional rule-breaker.
"I feel like our relationship is such that if it was intentional, he would say, 'I messed up. I've been doing this, I made a mistake, I just couldn't do it anymore the way I was doing it.' You know what I mean?"
He added: "Could I be wrong? I guess. But I don't think so."
Since 2003, Gates has been a model of consistency and innovation in the NFL. He's also probably the most idolized active tight end in the league among young up-and-coming players given his emergence onto the scene.
Though there's no way of knowing, he at least gives off the impression that his oft-used excuse -- I didn't know what I was taking had supplements on the banned substance list -- has some truth to it.
At least Rivers is willing to go on record as saying so, which is more than many suspended players can say about their teammates.