In just eight professional seasons, LaDainian Tomlinson is one of the NFL's elite running backs since the league's foundation in 1920. With over 11,000 yards and 141 TDs in his career, Tomlinson's journey thus far can be summed up with numerous superlatives praising his performance.
Nagged by injuries that forced career lows in several categories, Tomlinson still managed to run for 1,110 yards and 11 TDs in 2008, helping his club reach the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
The nature of his position and his relative absence from San Diego's last two playoff runs due to injury have hurt his stock somewhat, but a healthy Tomlinson still strikes fear in the best of defenses.
Pros: Excellent field vision that allows him to find holes in any defense, possesses burst of speed capable of clearing secondaries, sheds contact with astounding array of jukes, spins and other evasive moves, grand work ethic and leadership rub off on teammates, threat in the passing (as passer & receiver) arena as well as running game.
Cons: Age (29) translates to about 35 in RB years, injuries have sidelined him in key moments past two seasons, has tendency to tune out when injured, offensive scheme seems to favor the passing game more recently, which limits carries.
Season Outlook: We all know what a healthy Tomlinson can net. 1,400+ yards rushing, 18-20 combined TDs, et cetera. The real issue is to see whether Tomlinson can avoid the injury bug all through the regular season, and more importantly—in the postseason.