San Diego Chargers: Tomlinson Finds Strength To Succeed

Mike KranzlerContributor INovember 17, 2009

SAN DIEGO - NOVEMBER 15:  LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the San Diego Chargers celebrates his rushing touchdown against Philadelphia Eagles during the NFL football game at Qualcomm Stadium on November 15, 2009 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

In a season filled with doubts about his future with the Chargers, one thing became clear to LaDainian Tomlinson on Sunday; he was going to be a father.

His wife surprised him before the Chargers' game against the Eagles with some fantastic news about a positive pregnancy test, and Tomlinson carried that emotion onto the field as he ran for 96 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-23 victory over the Eagles.

While it was evident that he no longer has the burst that made him one of the greatest players in the history of the NFL, he did display some characteristics of his game that have been missing all season.

On Sunday, Tomlinson ran with heart, picking up yards after contact and playing through an ankle injury that might have sidelined him in weeks past.

Additionally, he seemed to have regained his field vision, and was finding open holes to run through all game. Since he no longer has the speed he once had, this was a huge key to his season-best effort.

And against a Philadelphia defense that ranks in the top ten in nearly every category, Tomlinson shouldered some of the offensive load for the first time all season, taking the pressure off of Philip Rivers.

Proving doubters wrong and getting the victory was an added bonus, but for the first time all season, it seems that LaDainian Tomlinson may have found the spark he needed to get back to top form.

In the end, nothing could top the news that his wife was pregnant with what will be their first child.

"It's a special thing about having a child," Tomlinson told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "I can't explain it."

Allow me to try: After a year filled with skepticism and doubts about his abilities and his future with the San Diego Chargers, LaDainian Tomlinson has regained his love for the game.

All it took was the discovery of his newest fan.