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.