Don’t look now, but you might actually receive a suspension from the National Football League today. In the fourth suspension handed down by the league on Thursday, San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates will have to sit out the first four games of the 2015 season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Gates, who admitted to taking a banned substance, had this to say in apologizing for his actions:
“In my 12 years in the NFL, I have taken tremendous pride in upholding the integrity of the NFL shield and all that it entails,” Gates said in a statement. “I have taken extreme care of my body with a holistic approach and I have never knowingly ingested a substance that was banned by the NFL,” Gates said, via NFL.com. “I understand that I am responsible for what is in my body and I have always believed that ignorance is no excuse when it comes to these issues. I take full responsibility for my actions.”
This is a huge loss for the Chargers. Gates has been the one mainstay for quarterback Philip Rivers and the team’s passing game over the years. Losing him for the first four games is going to hurt big time.
On that note, the Chargers added a statement of their own:
“We are tremendously disappointed for our team and our fans as well as Antonio, but no more disappointed than Antonio is with himself,” the Chargers statement read. “Antonio is a member of the Chargers’ family and we will continue to support him 100 percent.”
With Gates out of action for the first quarter of the season, young tight end Ladarius Green will be asked to step up. He’s a talented pass catcher with the ability to stretch the field. At the very least, San Diego will get a good look at him early in the season.
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