The last time that the Broncos saw LaDanian Tomlinson in a Chargers uniform was during a 32-3 loss in Denver in November 2009. Tomlinson had a modest 20 carries for 73 yards and a touchdown, but the impact that he made on the franchise during the nine years that he played for them is what stands out most.
Tomlinson announced his retirement from the NFL Monday after 11 seasons in the league. That’s quite the run for a running back. During his time, he amassed 13,684 yards averaging 80.5 yards per game for his entire career. Tack on 145 career rushing touchdowns, 4,772 receiving yards, 17 receiving touchdowns and just 12 lost fumbles, and you have a sure fire first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Each and every time the Broncos had to prepare for a game against the Chargers, Tomlinson was close to enemy No. 1. He averaged 81.1 yards per game against the Broncos had crossed the goal line 21 times. He had multiple three and four touchdown games in the 19 times he played Denver.
Tomlinson recalled the late and great Junior Seau’s retirement announcement in 2006 and then applied it to his own announcement.
‘‘So today, I take the words of Junior Seau: I feel like I’m graduating. I really do, because I’ve got my life ahead of me, I’m healthy, I’m happy with a great family and I’m excited to now be a fan and watch you guys play.’’
Tomlinson was a class act and will surely continue to impact people’s lives off the football field.