Antonio Gates
(Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates has been suspended four games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Gate’s suspension comes on the heels of recent suspensions by Sheldon Richardson and Dallas’s Rolando McClain. McClain and Richardson’s substance have not yet been announced, but Gates has apparently been suspended for performance enhancing drugs which means it likely it either steroids or some for of human growth hormone. Gates issued a statement following his recent suspension.

“I take full responsibility for my actions,” Gates said. “I’d like to express my sincere apologies to the Chargers, my teammates, coaches, fans and the league who have always supported me and expected and gotten nothing but the highest level of integrity from me.”

Gates also apologized on twitter except this time saying he did not knowingly take any illegal substance. (sounds a lot like baseball’s steroid era from the 90’s right?)

The 12 year pro did mercurially have a sort of a break out season after looking like the end was near. Gates caught 12 touchdowns last year, his highest since 2004. Was it a fluke season or did his PED use come into play?

The good news for Charger fans is the team does have sort of a sleeper in Ladarius Green. Green will be entering his 4th season and may provide a spark after having the necessary time to marinate behind Antonio Gates. Green has been stashed on my fantasy bench for two seasons now and could be worth a look for fantasy owners who are desperately looking for a tight end.

Gates ranks 4th all time with 788 receptions among tight ends. He is also 2nd all time in career touchdowns behind only Tony Gonzalez. The future hall of famer will miss games vs. the Lions, Bengals, Vikings, and Browns