The San Diego Chargers have listed seven players as probably, questionable or doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The most important player on that list, Antonio Gates, isn’t questionable at all and will sit out according to PFT.
If Gates is unable to go, the Chargers best option at tight end would be journeyman Randy McMichael. The veteran has four catches this season for 26 yards, including one for six yards last week against the New England Patriots.
Without safety Eric Berry, the Kansas City defense has been absolutely destroyed in the middle of the field. Not having to worry about Gates — one of the league’s best tight ends when healthy — is a huge advantage for the Chiefs.
That’s not to say Philip Rivers can’t move the ball without Gates. After all, he’s used to being without the big man. Last season Gates missed six games in the second half of the year and played at less than 100 percent when he did get on the field. The Chargers were 5-1 in games that Gates missed last season.
Last week, with Gates failing to catch a pass, Rivers still managed to throw for 378 yards thanks to a huge performance from WR Vincent Jackson. Without Gates to worry about, the Chiefs should be able to concentrate on trying to slow down that Rivers-Jackson train.