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.
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.
— Jordan Whitley (@jordanwhitley) June 8, 2017
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 Follow @iglen31 Follow @cover32_NE and Facebook.