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Where does LaDainian Tomlinson rank all-time among running backs?

June 18, 2012|By Chuck Schilken
  • LaDainian Tomlinson, shown during his record-breaking season in 2006, is expected to retire Monday after 11 years in the NFL.
LaDainian Tomlinson, shown during his record-breaking season in 2006,… (Denis Poroy / Associated…)

LaDainian Tomlinson is set to retire Monday, ending a career that saw him rush for more yards than all but four other people in NFL history and included a league MVP award and five Pro Bowl selections.

Tomlinson spent the first nine years of his career with the San Diego Chargers and the final two with the New York Jets. He is expected to sign a ceremonial contract with the Chargers to retire as a member of the team he was with during his 2006 MVP season.

That year he set league single-season records for rushing touchdowns (28), overall touchdowns (31) and points scored (186). He also ran for a career-high 1,815 yards for the first of back-to-back rushing titles.

He will retire with 13,684 rushing yards, fifth all-time in the NFL behind Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders and Curtis Martin. His 145 rushing touchdowns are second all-time to Smith's 164 and his 162 overall touchdowns are third all-time to wide receiver Jerry Rice's 208 and Smith's 175.

Tomlinson is seventh all-time with 18,456 all-purpose yards, behind Rice, running back Brian Mitchell (the league's all-time leader in kick and punt return yards), Payton, Smith, wide receiver Tim Brown and running back Marshall Faulk.

He never got to play in a Super Bowl but appeared in two AFC championship games.

Where do you think Tomlinson stands among the all-time greatest running backs in NFL history? Please vote in the poll, then leave a comment explaining why you voted as you did.

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