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.