Chargers tight end Gates leaves with ankle injury

San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates left Sunday’s 20-17
loss to the St. Louis with a left ankle injury.

He will undergo an X-ray and an MRI on Monday in San Diego.

Gates injured his left ankle in the second quarter. He came back
on the field for a series before he was taken to the locker room
late in the first half. He was not on the sideline for the second
half.

Gates got hurt blocking on a carry by running back Ryan
Mathews.

”I got tripped up and I guess some guys fell on the back of my
leg,” said Gates, who was wearing a walking cast in the locker
room. ”That’s initially how it started. Then on a pass down the
middle on the last play I was in, someone fell on my ankle. I just
couldn’t go. I couldn’t move.”

San Diego coach Norv Turner said he is unaware of how seriously
Gates is hurt.

”Antonio couldn’t come back. I don’t know the extent of it (his
injury). I know it was serious enough that he couldn’t return,”
Turner said. ”Hopefully, it’s not a long-term deal.”

Gates, a six-time Pro Bowl selection, finished with two catches
for 12 yards. He had scored in nine consecutive games, an NFL
record for tight ends.

Losing Gates did not change the Chargers’ offense too much, Rams
free safety Oshiomogho Atgowe said.

”They kept their offense pretty much the same. What happened
was they lost one of their prime weapons in Gates,” Atgowe said.
”We knew their offense wasn’t going to drop off all that much even
though they lost the caliber of Gates.

”Philip Rivers is a great quarterback. He makes plays and he
knows how to get the ball to his playmakers. We knew there would be
no great drop-off without Gates. We just had to keep playing
regardless of who was out there. We did a good job.”

Entering Sunday’s game, Gates had 29 receptions for 478 yards
and an NFL-leading seven touchdowns.