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|Gates suspended four games for PEDs -- Thu Jul 2 4:30 pm --|
One of four players levied with suspensions on Thursday
|The San Diego Chargers announced Thursday that TE Antonio Gates has been suspended four games without pay for violating the NFL Policy and Program for performance-enhancing substances.
He is eligible to return to the active roster on Oct. 5, ahead of a Week 5 matchup against the Steelers. Gates is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.
Gates blamed his positive test on "supplements and holistic medicines" he used in an effort to recover from the past season.
FF Today's Take: Jets DT Sheldon Richardson, Cowboys LB Rolando McClain and Packers DE Datone Jones were the three other players suspended. Gates had a team-high 12 touchdowns last season and crossed the 10,000 receiving yard mark in San Diego's season finale, so he will be missed. With Gates out, the Chargers will finally have a reason to unleash athletic freak Ladarius Green, who has been unable to assume a bigger role in the offense because of Gates and the team's preference to use three receivers.
|Green expected to have bigger role in offense -- Fri Jun 19 7:00 am --|
We've heard this before
|The Chargers said it last year. They're saying it again now. Ladarius Green is expected to have a larger role in their offense, the team working to take advantage of his size-speed combo to present a mismatch for defenses. "I'd be shocked if he didn't have his most productive year," offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. (San Diego Union Tribune)|
FF Today's Take: We've heard this before. Green's expected breakout last season never happened as he dealt with injuries and the consistently good play of veteran Antonio Gates. Green has immense physical skills but with Steve Johnson added to the receiving mix, Green will likely need an injury to Gates in order to make a significant fantasy impact.
|Gates expects a reduced role in 2015 -- Thu Apr 16 8:00 am --|
Admits he played more than expected in 2014
|“With injuries and whatnot, I played a little bit more than they expected me to play last season,” he says. “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.” (SI.com)|
FF Today's Take: Antonio Gates finished second in fantasy points among tight ends last season thanks to twelve trips to the endzone and multiple injuries to Ladarius Green (hamstring, concussion, ankle). It's rare that you hear a player suggest that his snaps be reduced but it's a logical move if Gates wants to extend his career. Barring injury, we should see Green on the field more in 2015.