Three and out: Gates won’t guarantee return date

Gates “antsy” to return: Chargers tight end Antonio Gates hasn’t played since Week 2 against the Patriots. In the interim, the team was hoping Gates’ injured foot would be ready to go for their Week 7 game against the New York Jets. Gates is hoping for the same, but recently told a San Diego television station that he’s not willing to carve it in stone. Without Gates, San Diego has turned to Randy McMichael, who has little value for fantasy owners. With the Chargers on a bye this week, there is extra time for Gates to get healthy, which would be greatly appreciated by coach Norv Turner and fantasy owners alike.

Jacobs not practicing: After missing last week’s game with a sprained knee, Brandon Jacobs didn’t practice on Wednesday, making his status for Sunday’s game against Buffalo a little murkier. While there is reportedly some improvement with the knee, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Big Blue’s big back tread very carefully — especially with New York having a bye in Week 7. Ahmad Bradshaw has shown that he’s capable of handling the bulk of the rushing duties and is a solid start against a Bills defense that has given up an average of 19.28 fantasy points per game to running backs.

Mendenhall’s status uncertain: Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin wasn’t willing to say what Rashard Mendenhall’s workload would be like on Sunday, provided the running back was recovered from the hamstring injury that kept him out last week. If he’s not available, Isaac Redman will once again be Pittsburgh’s featured back on Sunday against Jacksonville. The Jags have been pretty stingy against the run this year, allowing the eighth-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season. Redman is a flex play in most situations if he’s the only option. If he has to split carries with Mendenhall, he’s better left on the bench.

— Marcas Grant

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