The most frustrating period of the All-Pro's career may finally be behind him. Gates has been a full participant in the Chargers' voluntary workout program, running and lifting with teammates for about the past week. Asked if his foot is feeling 100 percent, Gates smiled and said “we're getting there.” Reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune
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Asked if he expected the old Gates to return, the one who's dazzled year after year and routinely made men miss in the open field, he took it a step further. “It's definitely going to get back to that,” Gates said. “I think that's what makes me excited, coming to prove I'm still one of the elite guys at this position. That's the challenge for myself. ..." He wasn't cleared for activity until training camp last year. He started the season but missed three games during a month-long rest period, and although he returned, he didn't start feeling in shape until midway through the year. But he relied on his mental edge to catch 56 catches, 704 yards and seven touchdowns in the final 11 games, being named to his eighth consecutive Pro Bowl. Gates said he's “absolutely” stronger now than when the season ended. ... Sounds like somebody is on a mission.