LaDainian Tomlinson’s call to the Hall caps incredible NFL career

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Nov 22, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Former San Diego Chargers running back Ladainian Tomlinson speaks during his Charger Hall of Fame introduction during halftime of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium. Kansas City won 33-3. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

It’s easy to forget sometimes how great LaDainian Tomlinson was when he was spending the last couple years of his career donning the green of the New York Jets. Alas, come August, there will be no doubt that Tomlinson was one of the best to ever play when he is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


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One of the best ever may actually be an understatement.

Tomlinson led the league in rushing twice in his 11-year career. He led the league in touchdowns in three seasons. His best season came in 2006 when he was one of the most unstoppable scoring machines in NFL history. That year, Tomlinson rushed for 1,845 yards and an NFL record 28 rushing touchdowns. He added three receiving touchdowns to bring his season total to 31. The historical season culminated with NFL MVP honors for Tomlinson. He is one of only two non-quarterbacks to win the award in the last decade.

A four-year stretch between 2004 and 2007 saw Tomlinson average over 1,500 yards a season and 20 touchdowns a year. In his Charger’s career, he rushed for fewer than 1,100 yards once in nine seasons. This came in his final year with the Chargers at age 30 when he rushed for just 730 yards in 12 games.

LaDainian Tomlinson Rushing and Receiving
Game Game Rush Rush Rush Rush Rush Rush Rece Rece Rece Rece
Year Age G GS Rush Yds TD Lng Y/A Y/G Tgt Rec Yds TD YScm RRTD
2004*+ 25 15 15 339 1335 17 42 3.9 89.0 66 53 441 1 1776 18
2005* 26 16 16 339 1462 18 62 4.3 91.4 77 51 370 2 1832 20
2006*+ 27 16 16 348 1815 28 85 5.2 113.4 80 56 508 3 2323 31
2007*+ 28 16 16 315 1474 15 49 4.7 92.1 86 60 475 3 1949 18
Care Care 170 155 3174 13684 145 85 4.3 80.5 868 624 4772 17 18456 162

Tomlinson’s 13,684 rushing yards are good for fifth most all-time in NFL history. Just ahead of Steelers’ legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Jerome Bettis. Only Emmit Smith, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders and Curtis Martin have rushed for more yards than Tomlinson. His 145 career rushing touchdowns are second to Smith’s 164.

Tomlinson will enter the Hall of Fame as a San Diego Charger, despite the team’s move to Los Angeles earlier this year. Additionally, Tomlinson’s presenter will be none other than the man who blocked for him for many years, fullback Lorenzo Neal.

The Chargers’ legend will join Jason Taylor, Kurt Warner, Terrell Davis, Morten Anderson, Kenny Easley, and Jerry Jones on August 5th as the newest inductees to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

– Ian Glendon is a National Co-Editor for cover32 and the Managing Editor for cover32/Patriots. He covers the NFL and New England Patriots. Like and follow on and Facebook.

 

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