LaDainian Tomlinson was one of the more controversial running backs heading into 2009 fantasy football drafts, as his history of consistent production and his advancing age collided to form a maelstrom of differing opinions on his potential for 2009.
In the end, despite his age (30) and 2008 struggles, most drafts saw L.T. get plucked at some point in the mid-to-late first round.
Still, there is no doubt that anyone drafting L.T. had to be more than a little nervous about investing their first round pick in a player who is fighting against the stacked history of running backs struggling once they reach 30 years old.
After one week, the L.T. results for 2009 can only be described one way...mixed.
If you did not stay up for the second Monday night game last night between San Diego and Oakland, you missed a thrilling fourth quarter in which Oakland took the lead late on a 4th-and-15 TD pass by JaMarcus Russell, only to see Philip Rivers and San Diego march right down the field and score a TD of their own to capture a 24-20 victory.
You also missed LaDainian Tomlinson having to spend most of the second half on the bench with an ankle injury.
The game was not a complete loss, however, as Tomlinson scored a touchdown in the first half and averaged 4.2 yards per carry on 13 rushes, generating 55 yards. He also had one reception.
The early Monday injury update on Tomlinson is that there really isn’t one, except that he was "limping badly after the game" according to the San Diego Union-Tribune (via PFT’s LT injury update). Tomlinson says that the ankle injury was not bad enough to keep him from playing, but said that it did tighten up on him in the second half.
In Tomlinson’s absence, Darren Sproles ran for only 23 yards on nine carries, but did show his usual giddy-up while gathering 43 yards on five receptions.
We likely won’t know more about Tomlinson’s ankle injury until later in the week, and even then surely Norv Turner and the Chargers will milk the uncertainty over LT’s status as much as they can.
With a tough game coming up against the usually ruthless Ravens' defense, I would expect to hear very little substantive about LT until late in the week, if at all.
I’ll update this post as more information becomes available about Tomlinson’s injury. I’d make sure you have a backup plan ready, and then be pleasantly surprised if and when you don’t have to use it.
* LaDainian Tomlinson injury update: Bleacher Report