LaDainian Tomlinson ran for 12,490 yards, scored 153 total touchdowns, was a three-time All-Pro and won an MVP award during his nine seasons with the San Diego Chargers. Now, the team will honor the legendary running back by retiring his number and inducting him into its Hall of Fame.
Chargers president A.G. Spanos made the announcement Wednesday, per the team's official website:
The official ceremony will take place on Sunday night, November 22 on the field at Qualcomm Stadium at halftime of the Chargers-Chiefs game on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
Tomlinson will become only the fourth player to have his number retired by the organization, joining Lance Alworth (19), Dan Fouts (14) and the late Junior Seau (55) as the only players to receive the team’s highest honor.
Chargers chairman Dean Spanos is quoted in the piece as saying Tomlinson is one of the most important players in franchise history and carried them to one of the greatest sustained periods of success San Diego has ever had:
This is a special, special opportunity for the Chargers family and all Chargers fans. Few players, if any, have meant more to this franchise than LT. He was the heart and soul of this team through one of the most successful decades in our history. I couldn’t wait to watch him play every week because I knew I would see something special. And that’s what he gave all of us: special memories we’ll carry with us forever.
In an era when running backs tend to get dismissed or disposed of without a second thought, Tomlinson was one of the last true workhorse players in the NFL. He had over 300 carries, at least 1,200 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns in each of his first seven seasons.
He led the league in rushing yards twice (2006, 2007) and rushing touchdowns three times (2004, 2006-07). His 28 rushing touchdowns in 2006 set an NFL record that still stands. He ranks second all time with 145 rushing touchdowns and fifth all time with 13,684 yards.
The Chargers got nine fantastic years from Tomlinson before the workload caught up to him at the age of 30. Even though he spent the last two years of his career with the New York Jets, the former TCU star will always be synonymous with San Diego football and a no-brainer addition to the franchise's Hall of Fame.
Stats via Pro-Football-Reference.com.