L.T. CONFIRMS GROIN TEAR, WHICH COULD BE PROOF OF RIFT WITH TEAM

On Saturday, there were conflicting reports regarding the extent of Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson’s groin injury.
Both Chris Mortensen of ESPN and Adam Schefter of NFLN reported that L.T. has a detached adductor tendon in his groin.
But coach Norv Turner told NBC’s Andrea Kremer that he was as “surprised as anyone” by the reports of a detached adductor tendon.  Turner told Kremer that, if the reports of a tear were true, Tomlinson wouldn’t have been able to walk.
Multiple media sources have since pointed out to us a couple of intriguing points, which frankly could point to an eventual divorce between the Chargers and Tomlinson.
First, it’s widely believed that agent Tom Condon leaked to Mort and Schefter the notion of a detached adductor tendon, so that Tomlinson wouldn’t be the target of the same criticism he faced last year, when he missed most of the AFC title game due to an MCL sprain — even as quarterback Philip Rivers played with a torn ACL.
Condon’s apparent goal was to create for L.T. a no-lose situation in which, if he could play extensively and effectively, he’d be a hero.  In contrast, if Tomlinson was limited (as he was, carrying the ball only five times), he would not be subject to villification.  (Though we’ve knocked Condon in the past, he clearly did the right and smart thing in this case for his client’s interests.)
Turner’s decision to opt for the Sgt. Schulz routine, understating the extent of the injury and overstating the limitations that the detached tendon would create, would have contributed to the perception that L.T. was being soft, but for Condon’s efforts to get the accurate information out there.
Second, don’t forget that the Chargers fueled the perception that Tomlinson wasn’t willing to play through pain by announcing in the press box during the AFC championship that Tomlinson “can return.”  
So, four days after the overtime win in which Tomlinson contributed a touchdown, the 2006 NFL MVP has confirmed that, indeed, he has a groin tear.  And while Turner said after Saturday night’s game that the injury has gotten no worse, Tomlinson characterizes himself as “doubtful” for Sunday’s game against the Steelers.
As pointed out in our most recent item for SportingNews.com, that actually might be a good thing for the Chargers, given that the Steelers generally have contained L.T. in his four career games against Pittsburgh.  The shifty, elusive Darren Sproles could be a tougher target for the Steelers linebackers to corral (or, as the case may be, carouse).
The broader question that the Chargers will face in the offseason is whether to make Darren Sproles the latest budding superstar to walk away without compensation.
With quarterback Drew Brees named the AP offensive player of the year three seasons after leaving and running back Michael Turner drawing MVP votes in his first year out of San Diego after finishing second only to Adrian Peterson in rushing yards, the looming choice between Sproles and Tomlinson could make L.T. the second former MVP to be out of a job barely two years after winning the award.

32 responses to “L.T. CONFIRMS GROIN TEAR, WHICH COULD BE PROOF OF RIFT WITH TEAM

  1. Deeestractions!
    All this noise and turmoil does is play right into Pittsburgh’s hands. I’m becoming less and less convinced that the Bolts are coming into this game with the right focus to have a real shot of getting past the Stillers.

  2. And if they let LT go, the Chargers franchise will fall apart
    from fan anger and dissapoinment. Myself included.
    The Guy is the face of the team. He’s hurt. Let him heal,
    let ignorant people criticize as if they were doctors and know
    the situation like they’ve been there, and When LT is healthy
    to play, let him do what he does best.
    Screw you AJ Smith. Just when it seems you’re becoming a
    better person, you drop one.

  3. Without compensation?
    Are you telling me the Chargers aren’t going to get a compensatory pick for Michael Turner?
    Are you telling me the Chargers won’t be getting a compensatory pick if they lose Sproles in the off season?
    Last time I checked, compensatory means compensation.

  4. FCSquid says:
    January 8th, 2009 at 10:03 am
    “Deeestractions!
    All this noise and turmoil does is play right into Pittsburgh’s hands. I’m becoming less and less convinced that the Bolts are coming into this game with the right focus to have a real shot of getting past the Stillers. ”
    ============
    What turmoil are you talking about? Either LT plays or he doesn’t. This is all much ado about nothing.

  5. The real questions is: helmet on or off while pouting on the sidelines this Sunday?

  6. There have been unsourced reports the last week or so that LT might be traded “while he still has value” in the offseason. Like to hear something more substantial from this site on that topic…since I can’t imagine LT has significant trade value. He’s an amazing player…but is in the big-money years of a long term deal, will play max 3 more seasons, and has had season-ending injuries the last two years.
    It’s widely known that the Chargers used LT *and* Gates as decoys in the playoffs last year. I’d be surprised if they were pissed about it. But LT has said on more than one occasion that he doesn’t like Turner’s playcalling and approach to the run game–seems a more obvious “source” of this potential “rift”…

  7. There’s a lot of supposition in this comment that the team “fueled speculation” last season…but they repeatedly told the press last week that Norv Turner would decide whether and how much LT would play. Lots of holes in this particular house of cards.

  8. I don’t buy into this as being a distraction. These guys are pros and will play like it on Sunday. If the Steelers beat them it will because the Steelers are the better team, had a week off and got to play at home. Not because a running back has some controversey surrounding the extent of his injury.
    The Chargers were there earlier this year and played the Steelers very close. I’m sure they learned something from that game. There is no reason they can’t win on Sunday. Now will they? Who knows?

  9. The NFL Injury reports have as much integrity as the NHL Injury reports. In other words they lie.

  10. Good for LT. He has given everything to that team and they (the front office) have not had his back. A.J. Smith is an assh*le and he sets the tone for the whole organization.
    The prevailing belief that there is some any major competitive advantage to be had by knowing the true extent of injuries is just horse sh*t. Every single player in the NFL is playing injured regardless of whether or not they’re on the report.

  11. Good running backs are a dime a dozen. I’m not trying to knock LT, he’s a hell of a player, but if they had Turner and Sproles they’d be the same team they are today.

  12. Lt is NOT going to get traded for a conditional first round pick. use your nogin and think.

  13. putting himself ahead of the team IMO.
    Why not just wait till after they lose this weekend to announce it Then Norv Turner can confirm it without hurting the Chargers any more than he does by being norv turner.

  14. The only person who seems to dislike the Chargers more than me is Jay Cutler. That said, the insinuation that Tomlinson is soft because he couldn’t play in last year’s playoffs while Rivers could isn’t very fair. It’s apples and oranges, really. The already plodding Rivers, like any QB, is far less dependent on a knee than Tomlinson, like any running back. Case in point can be found in Denver during their late 90’s success. John Elway played most of his career with no ligament in one knee, while Terrell Davis could never recover from his torn acl. Davis was an absolute warrior and about as far from soft as a player can be.

  15. Holy fricking crap is all this a bunch of BS! Keep hoping these reports can hold down the Bolts. Just wait and see this weekend the Bolts will the Steelers a game and most likely win. Big Ben is damaged and the Bolt D will be the difference.

  16. The rift probably has something to do with LT’s talents declining.
    There really is no shame in that, even if his decline is starting a couple years earlier than we all expected. He’s one of the greatest running backs to ever play, and this was bound to happen sooner or latter. Make that sooner. He still does, however, have some solid years left.

  17. questionmark says:
    January 8th, 2009 at 10:51 am
    Good for LT. He has given everything to that team and they (the front office) have not had his back. A.J. Smith is an assh*le and he sets the tone for the whole organization.
    The prevailing belief that there is some any major competitive advantage to be had by knowing the true extent of injuries is just horse sh*t. Every single player in the NFL is playing injured regardless of whether or not they’re on the report.
    ============
    If everyone knows LT isn’t going to play, then that is one less major player that the Steelers have to game plan against.
    The true extent of LT’s injury should have been kept quiet.
    LT gets paid quite handsomely for playing football for the Chargers. It isn’t as though he is playing for free, so it is about time he gave back to the Chargers by keeping quiet about the injury issue. The Chargers owe him nothing other than a paycheck.

  18. I think it’s sad that a player even has to resort to doing this. IF he’s lying, I see why he’s doing it. He’s one of the best RB’s in NFL history. He’s missed a single game in his BRILLIANT NFL career and has received more criticism over that loss than any player I’ve ever heard.
    I was at the Pat playoff game and LT, alont with EVERYONE on the sidelines had their helmets on. It’s not a surprising thing since it was below freezing. Second, LT was only sitting down when his offense was taking a breather on the bench. Most of the time he was up and cheering on the sidelines. He was NOT moaping around, he was up high-fiving players up until the 4th quarter, when it was apperant that the Pats were going to win. Frankly, if I had seen LT smiling in the 4th, I’d be pissed. Third, the Chargers and their fans KNEW what they had in Michael Turner. Now that everyone knows how good Turner is why is the “LT should have played” comments continuing? A healthy Turner>>>>>a hurt LT
    NOW, LT gets hurt again. This time he gets hurt in the blowout win against the Broncos and is not forced to play through excruciating pain. Not only that but has to prove to the rest of America that he’s not healthy by going out there and hurting the team just to prove that he’s a tough guy. Why does this even have to happen?
    LT should have NEVER received any criticism for missing most of the playoff game. Honestly, I think if the “classless” comments were never said then the Boston media would have never buried him. LT would have never been on their radar. AND LT WAS RIGHT, BELICHECK WAS A CHEATER! The media pretends that players could choose when to play and when not to play and by the way LT looked against the Colts, he should NOT be playing. He was slow and couldn’t keep his feet. He needs to sit, period. Then again, if that happens then he’ll be buried AGAIN.
    What a horrible way for the media to treat such a great NFL representative.

  19. questionmark says:
    January 8th, 2009 at 10:51 am
    Good for LT. He has given everything to that team and they (the front office) have not had his back. A.J. Smith is an assh*le and he sets the tone for the whole organization.
    The prevailing belief that there is some any major competitive advantage to be had by knowing the true extent of injuries is just horse sh*t. Every single player in the NFL is playing injured regardless of whether or not they’re on the report.
    ============
    You don’t know jack about the Chargers. Why is he an ahole? Because he decided that the Chargers were going to move in another direction with Rivers instead of Brees? Instead of franchising him and trading him, he let Brees walk and allow what team he WANTED to play for, not allowing AJ to dictate where he plays. Same thing goes for Turner. We could have EASILY gotten a 2nd for Turner but AJ is loyal to his players and his players love him for it because they know if they play well they’ll be compensated. If he decides to go into another direction he treats them with class.
    Also, there was no friendship between Marty and AJ, that was never a secret. When Marty wanted to bring in Brian Shottenheimer in instead of AJ’s choice, like John Kennedy positioning his brother to be his protoge, the problem, like Kennedy, had to be taken care of quickly.
    AJ is loved in this organization. He’s a brilliant buisnessman and talent evaluator. Sure, he’s got a big head, but what millionare doesn’t?

  20. LaDainian’s beatings have caught up him. You can see it in the soup commercials. He gets hurt fairly easy now and right on time for the playoffs. Who cares about compensation, the Chargers should unload him so they can open up that offense. Once they get a “lower profile” running back, better wide receivers, stability at linebacker, a new head coach, and a lot of luck, they can take that shot at the title. As a Raider fan, I would like to see him play against the Steelers this weekend. You could probably rob Cincy or Detroit for a first or second rounder.

  21. L.T. Is the greatest most explosive ,elusive back in modern football history since barry. No one manages to find their way into the end zone quite like him. The guy has been healthy throughout his career until just recently. No ill words should be spoken of this rushing titan. Does he cause problems DUI`s locker room issues? No . Does he cry like T.O. When he doesn’t get the ball every play. No.
    Believe this he is NOT saun alexander and L.T. Will retire a charger. As for the whole injury thing don’t comment about him being soft unless its your damn ripped groin. Then you go back in the game as the main focus of 11 huge athletes. Guaranteed to be hit harder than anyone else on the field. Especially. When you will be needed more than anytime all year next week. But hey a little lightning bolt
    Named sproles is having a hell of a game and is in a groove let’s just take him out and risk further injury to our best player. If L.T. Says he is hurt he is friggin hurt. A great player teammate and overall huge asset to the NFL. Norv is a moron saying he wouldn’t have been able to walk.

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