San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates has said in a recent interview that he is "playing it by the ear" for when to return from his knee injury, refusing an MRI scan.
Gates was unable to play last weekend against his team's divisional rivals, the Oakland Raiders, due to a rumored sprained MCL. However, he hasn't had an MRI scan to date, so we can't be certain of what damage has been done.
Speaking to the U-T San Diego, the tight end has said he will see how it feels this week before making a decision if he will play this Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.
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He said: “I’m playing it by ear. I’ll see how it feels on Wednesday, Thursday. If I still can’t go, then I’m going to try to look at it to see what the root of the problem is, what really is going on. Right now, it’s a feel thing. I know my body. [The athletic trainers] trust me to make the right choice.”
The Chargers will be desperate for Gates to return to action as the team struggled at times to get the ball moving against the Raiders last weekend, and it ultimately cost them the win.
The smart thing for the tight end to do though would be to get an MRI scan, as he may do more damage by still practicing on his knee.
The 35-year-old has been good since his return from his suspension at the start of the season. In two games, he's caught 18 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns.
From the looks of things, Gates could be more than capable of replicating close to the numbers he put up last season, but he must be healthy and on the field in order to do so. That starts with getting an MRI scan.