“We list them as what they are,” said head coach Norv Turner. “Obviously Antonio played last week and he’s probably more ready to go play. Ryan ran around good today and is looking good, so we’ll just decide on Sunday what we’re going to do.”
Gates is dealing with a bruised rib suffered early in the second half vs. the Oakland Raiders. He went off the field for a handful of plays but was able to come back and make a couple more catches on the evening.
“There’s no real cure for it,” Gates said, describing the injury. ”From what I understand, all you can really do is put ice on it. It hurts and it’s difficult to play with at the same time. We’re going to try to make that decision on Sunday on whether or not I can go play.”
Gates is also frustrated to suffer the injury in Week 1 since he felt healthier entering this season than he had for a long time.
“I’ve been through a lot the past few years dealing with injuries. I was going so well, running well and feeling good, but it’s always difficult in this league because it’s just the nature of this business. It’s a tough league, a grind-out league, and unfortunately when you play games there’s a chance that you will be banged up after a game because of how physical guys are.”
In an effort to be able to go on Sunday, Gates was outfitted with a special type of padding to help ease the hits he is sure to take out on the field.
“We wanted to try different things to see what can cover it up,” he said. “With the ribs, you want to compress everything to stop it from expanding, so they tried this girdle shirt and we’ll try another wrap tomorrow and see how it feels. We’ll try different things and see what will give me the best chance to play.”
In regards to Mathews, the team wants to make sure his fractured clavicle is completely healed before sending him out to get knocked around.
“I don’t know that there’s any way to test it,” said Turner. “Time is what he needs in terms of healing. He’s made great progress in that area, and that’s why he’s able to practice….Someone has to make the final call, but there is a lot of input and discussion to see where he’s at. We’ll see how the doctors and trainers feel.”