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Chargers TE Antonio Gates says he can understand Meriweather's frustration after suspension

Chargers tight end Antonio Gates said he can understand Brandon Meriweather's frustration after being suspended for multiple helmet-first hits against defenseless receivers.

Meriweather has been vocal this week, saying, "I guess I've just got to take people's knees out."

"Now whether he does it or not, you understand at one point when they fined you $100,000 and you start losing that kind of money, I'm quite sure you second-guess yourself on making certain plays," Gates said. "It's not that you're not playing or you're pulling back, but I feel for that situation because when I was a kid I played on defense."

Monday was Meriweather's first day back with the Redskins following the suspension, which was cut in half after an appeal, and he's expected to be on the field Sunday when Washington faces the Chargers. Asked if he plans to change how he plays, Meriweather said: "I guess I've just got to take people's knees out. I'd hate to end a guy's career over a rule, but I guess it's better (for something to happen to) other people than me getting suspended for longer."

Meriweather should see plenty of Gates, the Chargers' leading receiver with 42 catches for 497 yards and two touchdowns.

Gates said he's not against rugged play, it's just when hits are delivered.

"If I have the ball and see you coming and I know what's coming, that's football," Gates said. "But if I'm in the air and I'm not looking and you ear-hole me that's (different). That is the whole concept of being a defenseless player and getting hit that way."

NOTES: LB Donald Butler (groin), WR Eddie Royal (toe) and T Mike Remmers (ankle) were unable to practice Wednesday.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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