Chargers add a ‘Hall of Fame free agent’ at tight end this week

Antonio Gates' return? It's like adding a premier free agent, says Philip Rivers
Stan Liu/Stan Liu-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers might just as well have signed a big-ticket free agent.

It'd have the same effect on Philip Rivers as the impending return of his favorite target, Antonio Gates.

“We'll be excited to have him back in there,” Rivers told ESPN's Eric D. Williams. “We're acquiring a Hall of Fame free agent here.”

It's a perfectly-timed pickup for the Chargers, then. Rivers said his offense had to adjust on the fly without Gates and wide receivers Malcom Floyd (concussion) and Stevie Johnson (hamstring) last Sunday.

Gates' return adds an element of normalcy for Rivers. No. 85 is his security blanket; they've combined for more QB-to-TE touchdown than any other duo in NFL history.

Said Rivers: “He helps us on the field and in the locker room. We've certainly missed him.”

(h/t ESPN)

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