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#pounditSaturday, January 22, 2022

Antonio Gates will attend LaDainian Tomlinson’s Hall of Fame ceremony

If San Diego Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn originally wanted to block players from attending LaDainian Tomlinson’s Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony, he has apparently changed his mind.

On Tuesday, veteran tight end Antonio Gates revealed that he will miss a training camp practice to show his support for Tomlinson.

“Some things, you feel like, you’ll never get back,” Gates said, per Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times. “Opportunities like this one, in terms, come once in a lifetime. You’re talking about a guy I played with here. He was the wheels on the tank, if you will. He was a staple of what we did here, and I was a big part of that as well.

“When you have a guy that you played with between the lines and battled with, you always want to be there to support him for a special event like this.”

A report on Monday claimed Lynn was blocking Gates and Philip Rivers from attending the ceremony, telling the veterans that they needed to be at practice. Gates said that was not the case.

“Coach was very, very understanding — unbelievable in how he understands,” the eight-time Pro Bowler said. “And, he’s played in this league so you wouldn’t expect less than a guy like that who understands how to run a team and understands players. And that’s what’s important. He really understands people. He was able to say, fine, you can go.”

Lynn also addressed the report with a brief statement on Tuesday.

Rivers has said he plans to remain in L.A. with his teammates this weekend, but he is obviously free to go to Canton if he changes his mind. Tomlinson, who played for the Chargers from 2001-2009, was the focal point of an offense that enjoyed great success with Rivers and Gates.

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