Antonio Gates had never been to a Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony before last weekend, when he traveled to watch longtime teammate LaDainian Tomlinson's stirring induction.
The Los Angeles Chargers' veteran tight end came away from Canton excited for his friend, inspired by Tomlinson's speech and newly motivated for the final chapters in his own career, which seems likely to end up in the same place.
Gates returned to practice with the Chargers on Tuesday in Costa Mesa after taking off to Ohio for the weekend.
"To me, it's a lifetime achievement award," Gates said. "It's an honor to be around the other Hall of Famers. I embraced it all with the...