San Diego Chargers’ veteran tight end Antonio Gates has been suspended by the National Football League for the first four games of the 2015 season due to a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.
Gates, 35, is entering his 13th season in the league, all of which has been spent with the Bolts. The eight-time Pro Bowler started 14 games last season, catching 69 passes for 821 yards and 12 touchdowns, and hasn’t played a full 16 games since the ’09 season.
This past season Gates became the 44th player in NFL history to reach the 10,000 receiving yards milestone (fourth TE to do so), and he’s just 12 receptions shy of reaching 800 for his career.
The four game suspension will give the Bolts an opportunity to prepare for life after Gates on the offensive side of the ball, and is likely to open things up for Ladarius Green at the tight end position.
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