Chargers facing a first this week


For the first time since the San Diego Chargers cut legendary running back LaDainian Tomlinson in 2010, the Chargers will face Tomlinson when they visit the New York Jets on Sunday.

This matchup would be a much bigger deal if the game was being played in San Diego rather than in New Jersey and if Tomlinson was still playing at a high level.

A primary reason why the Chargers released Tomlinson was that his production was slipping. He had a solid first season in New York as he racked up 914 yards. However, Tomlinson, 32, is slowing down. He has had 97 yards in 29 carries and 17 catches this season. Tomlinson has not started a game this year after starting 13 games last season.

The Chargers’ running game is on the upswing. Second-year running back Ryan Mathews, drafted to replace Tomlinson, has come on strong this season. He and fellow running back Mike Tolbert are on a record-breaking tandem receiving pace.

There’s no doubt the Chargers have moved on without Tomlinson and do not regret releasing him when they did, despite his great impact on the franchise and the San Diego community. He goes down as one of the more popular professional athletes in the city's history.

Tomlinson had some parting shots about the way he departed the Chargers. It will be interesting to see what he has to say this week leading up to the game. Hopefully, professionalism prevails on both sides in this historic week for the Chargers.