Rumors suggest that San Diego Chargers star tight end, Antonio Gates might be out for the season. A recent research reckons that Gates’ absence might actually be beneficial for the Chargers in the future. Stunning numbers show that Chargers have been performing better since Gates departed from the camp because of his foot injury.
Statistics show that Chargers have increased their form in the last 7 games Gates has been absent. However, this does not mean Chargers are better off without Gates in the future. The idea of Chargers without Gates is absolutely absurd. A player like Gates can only make a team stronger even if he comes off the bench. Moreover, Gates happens to be the favorite target of quarterback Phillip Rivers. The veterans’ lustrous performances are also expected to land him a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Chargers are 6-1 in games that Gates has not been a part of. On the other hand they are 5-7 in games that Gates has played in. It might be worth mentioning that 6 of those games were in the second half of last season, a time when Chargers traditionally play better in comparison to the first half of the season.
Gates was expected to return this season but a nagging foot injury kept him sidelined. Meanwhile, Chargers pressed on the dominance in NFL by defeating Kansas City in Week 3. The foot injury has dogged Gates for years although he has received treatment on numerous occasions.
On Tuesday, Gates consulted a specialist for his injury. After a diagnosis Gates announced that he couldl return to the team this season, however Chargers’ medical team still have to confirm his claim. Some analysts suggest Gates will be rested till Chargers’ October 16 bye but if that is the case then Gates will be missing important matches with Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos. Nevertheless, if Gates is given rest till the bye then he will have a better chance of playing for the rest of the season.
Chargers managerial board must have realized by now that they can survive without Gates. Statistics show that Chargers have been averaging 25.3 points with Gates and 28.9 points without him. Chargers point-ratio is not the only factor affected by Gates’ absence. Although, Gates and Chargers love to gain yards by running, Chargers have been gaining more yards without him, as a matter of fact a difference of 21 yards has been noted.
Numbers like these show that Chargers clearly have a lot of other weapons at their disposal, for instance; tight end Randy McMichael. Regardless of what statistics say and even if McMichael is featured in the first team, Chargers will be tempted to field the skills of Gates and for right reasons. Gates on the bench is simply a like a jewel on the floor.