Gates excused by Chargers to have foot examined

One player who won’t participate in Chargers minicamp — at least Wednesday — is TE Antonio Gates. According to a tweet from the team, Gates was excused to have his foot examined by a doctor in North Carolina.

A team spokesman said “it’s a possibility” that Gates would return to the three-day camp that runs through Friday.

It could be nothing, but the timing of Gates having the foot checked out — on the same day the team started camp — seems to suggest otherwise. Gates has a history of foot problems, including offseason surgery in 2008, but he’s known for playing through pain and hasn’t missed a regular-season game since 2005.

The upcoming season is critical for Gates, who’s entering the final year of the six-year extension that he signed in 2005.

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