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LaDainian Tomlinson feels lucky to leave with his health

Kansas City Chiefs v New York Jets Getty Images

A day after formally announcing his retirement, LaDainian Tomlinson talked about one of the more remarkable aspects of his Hall of Fame career: Through 11 seasons and more than 3,000 carries, he never suffered a serious injury.

Tomlinson said on the Dan Patrick Show that one of the reasons he believes he’s retiring at the right time is that he’s walking away from the game in far better shape than you’d expect from a running back who had 3,174 carries, 624 catches in the NFL, not to mention more than 900 carries in college.

“I spent 11 years in the league and I’ve never had a surgery,” Tomlinson said. “I don’t know how many running backs can say that. To never have a surgery, never have a serious concussion where I had to be taken off the field. So I’m good with that. I’m happy with where I am and ready to ride on into the sunset.”

Although Tomlinson didn’t shy away from contact, he said he had a natural running style that protected him from being in too many major collisions.

“I can make people miss,” Tomlinson said. “When it came down to it, I wasn’t going to get hit a lot. That was my game, I will make you miss.”

Tomlinson said he believes he could keep playing and that there were some NFL teams that showed him some interest, although he acknowledged that at his age, the interest isn’t as strong as it used to be.

“I’m going to be 33 years old in a few days and you know what? Nobody is knocking down the door for a 33-year-old running back to come and play and have a major role,” Tomlinson said.

And so Tomlinson says he can accept that he’s done, and be happy and healthy in retirement.

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25 Responses to “LaDainian Tomlinson feels lucky to leave with his health”
  1. eaglesw00t says: Jun 19, 2012 12:12 PM

    Does the fact that no team offered you a contract enter into the “right time” factor?

  2. silverbleedblack says: Jun 19, 2012 12:14 PM

    So that explains why he was standing on the sideline on one of the most important playoff games in his career. He’s not even in the top 10 best RB’s of all time. Put up silly stats on a horrible AFC West. Whoopdy doo.

  3. mathomp3 says: Jun 19, 2012 12:21 PM

    He had a great career, glad to see him hang em up with his body still in tact.

  4. jaimelh02 says: Jun 19, 2012 12:22 PM

    During his great run the Raiders were practically an expansion team, the Chiefs were mediocre, and the Broncos were below average at best. Six games every year to inflate the rushing stats

  5. doe22us says: Jun 19, 2012 12:36 PM

    One thing in life is being realistic and recognizing that you are no longer needed in the sport. See T.O, Donavan, Tiki etc. Good luck LT in your future plans.

  6. jbl429 says: Jun 19, 2012 12:37 PM

    Wow, there’s some haters on here. I’m no Tomlinson advocate or anything, but really with these arguments? Tomlinson inflated his stats against a weak division, really? Do people actually look at the stats before making comments? LaDainian averaged 80.5 yards a game in his career. Against Denver and KC, he averaged 81.2 and 83.4 ypg respectively. Hardly stat-inflating numbers. Different story against Oakland, however where he averaged 108.2 in 19 of his 170 career games. Take away those 28 yards a game (530 yards) and he’s still in the top 10 rushers easily.

  7. daknight93 says: Jun 19, 2012 12:40 PM

    it’s great that he left the game in healthy condition…I wish him well in his future endeavors after football.

  8. justincase92121 says: Jun 19, 2012 12:41 PM

    Why the hate? had he been on police blotter, in the commish office, or on some DWI charge, you would be content. But here is a guy who has been nothing but a model citizen in a game filled with men with little common sense and you guys are ripping him.

    Be happy for once for a guy who respected the game and a true football hero.

  9. ravenat0r says: Jun 19, 2012 12:45 PM

    left with his health, but no championship. Just the way every player on the current Ravens roster will finish. (Except the murderous landshark of course).

  10. pooflingingmonkey says: Jun 19, 2012 12:58 PM

    Hard to believe anyone would try to portray LT as being anything but a great player. He had a 6-7 year strecth where he was practically unstoppable.

  11. flapjackdaddy says: Jun 19, 2012 1:05 PM

    Damn. It doesn’t seem that long ago when he was coming out of TCU — says the cliche/nostalgia guy.

  12. ejbpound4pound says: Jun 19, 2012 1:14 PM

    Here’s a stat for ya : 11 seasons 3800 touches and only 30 fumbles… pretty impressive.

  13. mrgroovesd says: Jun 19, 2012 1:21 PM

    I’m going to miss watching LT play. He played the game great. Everyone can hate but like someone said, 6-7 stretch where this guy was untouchable and breaking runs and hitting those gaps with finesse. Good luck LT with whatever you venture in the future. You were one of the best to don a Bolt uniform.

  14. patriotsdefense says: Jun 19, 2012 1:31 PM

    haha I love Raiders fans.

    Seriously, they haven’t given LT fans a moment of peace since the announcement.

    While LT did play in the lonesome AFC West, his stats still would have been Hall of Fame if he had played in the NFC West. A few marshmallow games along the way wouldn’t have inflated his stats into the 5th all time yards, 3rd all time RB TDs.

    LT earned it. I, a Patriots fan, even acknowledge that.

    I’m not going to sit here and pretend to know what those crazy voters at the HOF do. He is certainly a HOF, it’s probably a coin flip if it’s first ballot.

    I’m still shocked Curtis Martin still isn’t in. Shame.

  15. souldogdave says: Jun 19, 2012 1:38 PM

    I’m a Raider fan and I say he’s a smart man to leave the game intact, in good health. Excellent player who was our nemesis, farewell to a warrior. Chargers have been spiraling down since he left…

  16. sdelmonte says: Jun 19, 2012 1:50 PM

    Wondering if one reason he decided to go now is that he was shaken up by Seau’s suicide. Mentioning Junior in his farewell press conference says that LT was obviously thinking of his late teammate.

  17. eaglesw00t says: Jun 19, 2012 1:52 PM

    pooflingingmonkey says:
    Jun 19, 2012 12:58 PM
    Hard to believe anyone would try to portray LT as being anything but a great player. He had a 6-7 year strecth where he was practically unstoppable.

    ———————————–

    I dont disagree he WAS a fantastic player. Unfortunately, he is past the point of being an everyday back.

    In the 00’s, he was probably the best back in the NFL. I would love to have had him.

    This is 2012 though. He is 33, and is in Favre mode right now. Even if he were to be offered a contract, it would be small, for a team that needed him as a fallback plan or change of pace back.

    I am very happy to see him have had a very successful career without injury though. That is always a great thing to hear.

  18. grogansneck says: Jun 19, 2012 1:55 PM

    His hands are in great shape–his fingers were never weighed down with a ring.

  19. clownsfan says: Jun 19, 2012 2:27 PM

    Here’s all you need to know: 397yds rushing along w/157yds receiving and only 4 TD in 7 career post season games. All his “greatness” & “class” went down the toilet when it came down to crunch time.

  20. tinbender2000 says: Jun 19, 2012 2:28 PM

    As a Raider fan I have the utmost respect for LT. Good role model, great running back, 11 seasons without a major injury for a running back? I have no respect for that ass clown AJ Smith and revel in their misery without LT. Good luck in your endeavors, something tells me he will.

  21. granadafan says: Jun 19, 2012 2:55 PM

    Goodell will use LT’s comments about leaving in great health against him when, not if, he joins the concussion lawsuits

  22. ripseau says: Jun 19, 2012 3:23 PM

    All that during a revolving door on the ol (except LG and C where dielman and hardwicku anchored). Not very many people remember just how poor the sd ol was. Shane Olivea? Toniu Fonoti? He had his best years with scrubs blocking for him. Even Brees had to go to another team to get the ol commitment and look how he is. He didnt magically get great, hes always been that good just got a lot of pressure.
    It takes a hofer to dominate the way he dominated on what was essentially a rebuilding team. He assisted the franchise to move forward w his play and although never won a ring he rose the chargers from bottomfeeders to to 5work franchise in the league during that 2004-2009 stretch.
    Wish him all the luck

  23. dasmol says: Jun 19, 2012 4:11 PM

    “During his great run the Raiders were practically an expansion team, the Chiefs were mediocre, and the Broncos were below average at best.”

    What a joke. You think LT had anything to do with the raiduh ownfall?

    I guess none of the ancient Raiduh superbowls count, because the Chargers were no good at that time. LOL

  24. nikeman25 says: Jun 19, 2012 4:13 PM

    Its funny. The same people hating on LT are the same idiots that drafted him #1 in fantasy football leagues for many years. Dude is z class act. Im a Broncos fan and even I knew this guy was great

  25. guy0nthec0uch says: Jun 19, 2012 5:23 PM

    A class act and a great player. He will be a Hall of Famer one day. Not many running backs can boast his production in the history of the game. A threat to carry and receive in a Marshall Faulk kind of way. Best of luck to him is his future adventures.

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