Saturday night, the Pro Football Hall of Fame will again open its exclusive gates and enshrine the seven member class of 2017. Pro Football Weekly is highlighting them all, continuing with former Chargers and Jets RB LaDainian Tomlinson.
Credentials: NFL’s MVP and Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2006. Two-time NFL rushing leader (2006-07) and three-time TD leader (2004, 2006-07). Five-time Pro Bowler and six-time All-Pro (first team in 2004, 2006-07 and second team in 2002-03, 2005). 3,174 regular-season carries for 13,684 yards (4.6 YPC) and 145 touchdowns. 624 regular-season receptions for 4,772 yards and 17 touchdowns. Postseason stats: 131-468-6 rushing and 25-176-1 receiving in 10 games.
Triple-threat TD machine: The fifth overall pick in 2001, following a record-breaking career at TCU, Tomlinson struck the NFL like a lightning bolt with his unique combination of all-encompassing explosiveness. His 1,236 yards as a rookie began a super-charged eight-year streak of 1K rushing seasons, matched only by fellow Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, Curtis Martin and Thurman Thomas, in addition to former Rams great Steven Jackson.
Only Smith and Jerry Rice have more career touchdowns than Tomlinson’s 169 — 145 rushing, 17 receiving and seven (!) passing, which trails only Walter Payton (8) — and they played four and nine more seasons, respectively. Just don’t discount Tomlinson’s special brand of durability and longevity; he started 127-of-128 regular-season games to begin his Chargers career and missed just six combined games in…
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