San Diego Chargers nine-time Pro Bowl tight end Antonio Gates plans to slow down his pace in 2015.
Gates, who is entering into his 13th year with the Chargers, is coming off of a 12-touchdown season where he played a larger role than expected due to injuries to teammates. In an interview with Emily Kaplan of MMQB.com, Gates shared his plan to play less:
With injuries and whatnot, I played a little bit more than they expected me to play last season. I was playing the whole game. How I feel next year, it depends on how much volume they have me doing. I’d like to come in on third-and-7s, red zones, those situations. That’s what my contribution is at anyway.
The Chargers have fourth-year tight end Ladarius Green ready to fully fill Gates’ starting shoes when the time comes, which might be as soon as 2016. Gates is only signed through the upcoming season and is noncommittal about playing past this year.
As noted by Kaplan, Gates has begun pursuing business interests, such as boxing promotion and field preservation.
It’s possible that 2015 will be the final year we see the formerly undrafted tight end and quarterback Philip Rivers—who have connected for 99 career touchdowns—joining forces.
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