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Antonio Gates to be inducted into Chargers Hall of Fame

SAN DIEGO — Legendary Chargers tight end Antonio Gates will be inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame during the 2023 season, football officials said Wednesday.

The eight-time Pro Bowler finished his 16-year career with the Chargers, 14 years in San Diego and two in Los Angeles, with the most touchdown receptions and multi-touchdown games by a tight end in the National Football League’s history.

Gates, who will be inducted on Sunday, Dec. 10 during halftime of the Chargers-Broncos game, will become the 41st member enshrined into the Chargers Hall of Fame, the team said on its website.

“As I’ve said many times now, Antonio is not only one of the greatest Chargers to ever play the game, he’s one of the greatest players in NFL history,” said Controlling Owner and Chairman of the Board Dean Spanos. “That couldn’t be any truer today than it was at the time of his retirement.”

Spanos went on to say that Gates “redefined what it meant to be a tight end in the 21st century.”

“His contributions to our organization, on the field and off, are those of a Hall of Famer. This was, to me, always a mere formality. After we celebrate him at SoFi Stadium this December, I look forward to doing it once again in Canton,” Spanos said.

Gates was signed by the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2003 after not having played organized football since his senior season at Detroit’s Central High School. He excelled at basketball in college, taking Kent State to the Elite 8 in the 2002 NCAA Tournament. 

“I love my friend, my teammate, Antonio Gates,” ex-Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said at the time of Gates’ retirement. “I am very thankful to have gotten the opportunity to be Antonio’s teammate for 15 seasons.”

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