Tomlinson to play final season with SD Chargers
June 19, 2012, 12:31 am TWN
SAN DIEGO, California -- LaDainian Tomlinson, fifth on the National Football League's all-time rushing yardage list, will rejoin the San Diego Chargers on Monday and then retire, the Chargers announced on Sunday.
Tomlinson spent his first nine seasons with the Chargers and his final two gridiron campaigns with the New York Jets, finishing with 13,684 career rushing yards and 145 rushing touchdowns, second on the all-time NFL list.
“There have been very few players in the NFL who have meant as much to their team as LT did during his career here,” Chargers coach Norv Turner said.
“It would be hard to find a back who's led the league in rushing and caught over 100 balls in separate seasons. It speaks volumes to his abilities and what he was capable of doing.”
Tomlinson, who turns 33 on Saturday, set an NFL one-season record with 31 touchdowns, 28 of them by rushing, in 2006, when he was named the National Football League's Most Valuable Player.
His combination of running skills and receiving ability made him a unique threat.
“LT changed the way the running back is looked at,” said Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. “You hadn't seen that many backs have that type of versatility.”
“LaDainian had a tremendous impact on the NFL in his career,” Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu said. “He was the prototype that everybody wanted their running back to be.”
Tomlinson ran for a career-high 1,815 yards in 2006, the first of his two back-to-back NFL rushing crowns.
In two seasons with the Jets, Tomlinson managed only 914 rushing yards in 2010 and 280 yards on 75 carries last year.