Take a deep breath. Don't panic.
Chargers tight end Antonio Gates missed practice Thursday, but coach Norv Turner diffused potential concern afterward, saying there has been no setback in Gates' return from a lingering plantar fascia injury sustained last season.
The plan all along has been to build Gates, day by day, toward playing Sunday. He returned to the field for the first time in a nearly a month Monday and practiced again Wednesday.
"Going three days in a row might have been more than we needed right now," Turner said.
Gates should practice Friday and play Sunday against the New York Jets after missing the past three games.
However, he won't see a full snap load.
"I think it would be hard to ask him to do that," Turner said. "We did that in the first two games, and that probably got us where we're at, so we just have to be smarter. See how he handles it. Play him a couple of series and then give him a series out. Obviously, we've been playing without him. I'm sure we can manage that."
The Chargers will also be sure to have Gates on the field when in the red zone, especially on third down, Turner said.
Wide receiver Vincent Jackson (hamstring) was able to practice for the second straight day, this time in full, and, barring a setback, he will see significant snaps Sunday when the team travels to face the New York Jets.
Aside from Gates, cornerback Marcus Gilchrist (knee) and defensive end Luis Castillo (tibia) were the only other players not at practice. Gilchrist was injured in a Wednesday fall at practice but is expected back Friday, Turner said.
Green Light for Green Bay
The Chargers see some light in the blackout tunnel.
The team announced Thursday that enough tickets have been sold for its next home game, a Nov. 6 tilt with the Green Bay Packers, to lift a potential blackout. The game will be televised live locally.
The Chargers are selling a four-game package for their final four home games of the regular season. Fans can purchase the same seats for each contest with the opportunity to buy those exact seats in a potential Chargers home playoff game.
Tickets can be purchased online or via phone at (800) 745-3000.
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