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L.T. makes 1st exhibition appearance since 2005

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=290815024" target="_blank">Associated Press</a>

    <div class="alignright"><a href="http://a.espncdn.com/media/apphoto/459fc19e-8bc1-42fe-9ff0-4a25ead5bdd7.jpg"><img class=" " title="San Diego Chargers LaDainian Tomlinson runs through the tackle of Seattle Seahawks Leroy Hill in the first quarter of a NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)" src="http://a.espncdn.com/media/apphoto/459fc19e-8bc1-42fe-9ff0-4a25ead5bdd7.jpg" alt="San Diego Chargers LaDainian Tomlinson runs through the tackle of Seattle Seahawks Leroy Hill in the first quarter of a NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)" width="164" height="197" /></a></div>

    SAN DIEGO -- LaDainian Tomlinson got his wish -- a handful of carries in August.

    The San Diego Chargers' star running back played in an exhibition game for the first time since 2005, carrying four times for 10 yards and catching one pass from Philip Rivers for 8 yards in the Chargers' 20-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday night.

    After two series Tomlinson was back on the sideline, where he normally can be found during exhibition games.

    The Seahawks, playing their first game under coach Jim Mora, took advantage of three straight turnovers by Chargers third-string quarterback Charlie Whitehurst in the second half to take control of what had been a ho-hum game. Whitehurst threw two interceptions and lost a fumble, leading to 10 points for Seattle.

    Tomlinson, who turned 30 in June, had to talk his way into the game. Surprisingly, coach Norv Turner called his number.

    "L.T. looks good. I think tonight was good for him," Turner said.

    "It felt good," said Tomlinson, who nearly became a salary-cap casualty in the offseason before agreeing to a reworked contract. "That was the whole point, to get in there and try to get a rhythm to start out with. Usually I don't get a chance to run until the regular season. It's awfully hard to get a rhythm in at that time."

    Tomlinson had gotten used to not even suiting up for exhibition games, which are largely meaningless, even though fans pay regular-season prices. He last previous appearance in one was Aug. 21, 2005, when he scored on a 55-yard run on his only carry of the game against the St. Louis Rams.

    First Marty Schottenheimer and then Turner chose not to expose L.T. to the possibility of getting hurt before the games started counting.

    While Tomlinson understood, he said he usually spent the first two games of the regular season getting back into tempo.

    Tomlinson, the NFL's MVP in 2006, hurt his right big toe in last year's opener. He injured his groin in the regular-season finale, was limited in a wild-card playoff win against Indianapolis and didn't play in a divisional-round loss to eventual Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh. It was the first time he missed a game due to injury.

    Neither first-team offense scored Saturday night.

    Chargers second-string quarterback Billy Volek led a second-quarter scoring drive capped by Michael Bennett's 2-yard run. The Seahawks tied it when Seneca Wallace lobbed a 3-yard pass over the defense to John Owens in the right corner of the end zone late in the quarter.

    Whitehurst had the ball knocked out of his hands by Baraka Atkins, with rookie Derek Walker recovering. That led to rookie Mike Teel's 18-yard TD pass to Mike Hass.

    Whitehurst threw passes right at Kelly Jennings and then rookie Nick Reed, with the second pickoff setting up a 38-yard field goal by Brandon Coutu. Coutu added another 38-yarder midway through the fourth quarter.

    Whitehurst threw a 5-yard TD pass to Legedu Naanee late in the game.

    Seattle's Jon Ryan had a 77-yard punt in the closing minutes.

    The game was blacked out in San Diego's TV market, the first time an exhibition game didn't sell out since 2006. The Chargers say there could be regular-season blackouts, too.

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