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|Date of Birth:
|Gates was signed by the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent on April 28, 2003. He signed a new six-year contract with Chargers on Aug. 22, 2005.|
Gates tried to play through his chronic foot problems but was forced to sit out Weeks 3-5. He came back after the bye week and started every game the rest of the way, finishing with more than 60 catches (64) for the seventh time in his career. He also scored seven TDs and was voted into his eighth Pro Bowl.
Despite missing six games with assorted foot injuries (and being limited in several others), Gates still hauled in 50 passes for 782 yards and 10 scores. He earned yet another Pro Bowl invite, although skipped the all-star game due to his lingering injuries.
Finally healthy after a couple injury-plagued seasons, Gates enjoyed the finest year of his career. He caught 79 passes for a career-high 1,157 yards and eight TDs. He hauled in at least five passes in 10 of the team's first 11 games.
Gates appeared in 16 games with 16 starts. Ended the season with 60 receptions for 704 yards and eight touchdowns.
When the Chargers struggled on the run in the early games of the season, Gates stepped up and became Philip Rivers' main target. He missed the 1,000-yard mark by less than 20 yards (984) and scored nine touchdowns. His total yardage was second only to his 2005 season (1,101). He started all 16 games but missed the Pro Bowl due to a toe injury.
Started all 16 games for the first time in his career. Finished with 71 catches for 924 yards and nine touchdowns.
Set career-highs with 89 receptions and 1,101 yards. He also scored 10 touchdowns, setting a league record for most touchdowns by a tight end in a two-year span with 23.
Set an NFL record for tight ends with 13 touchdown receptions. Also caught 81 passes on the year to lead the team.
Gates did not play college football. He was a power forward on the Kent State basketball team.