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Ribs, lack of room limit Tomlinson

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Dec 11, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a href="http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2005/12/12/sports/professional/chargers/121105211027.txt" target="_blank">North County Times</a>

    By: MICHAEL KLITZING

    <img src="http://bolttalk.com/images/tomlinson36.jpg" class="left" alt="LaDanian Tomlinson" />SAN DIEGO ---- LaDainian Tomlinson missed every day of practice but one during the week, nursing sore ribs suffered last week against the Raiders.

    Come game time Sunday, Tomlinson never really got on track in the Chargers' 23-21 loss to the Miami Dolphins, looking uncharacteristically ordinary en route to 75 yards on 21 carries.

    Simple cause and effect, right?

    Maybe not.

    "I'm pretty positive his rib wasn't bothering him," said Chargers center Nick Hardwick.

    How much Tomlinson's injury led to the Dolphins' bottling up of the Chargers' running game will likely remain a mystery. Tomlinson, as one might expect, declined to use the easy excuse after the painful loss.

    "I'm feeling OK," a somber Tomlinson said after a long pause. "I've been better, but this what I chose to do, so ... pain is no excuse at all. You play through it.

    "We're all battling injuries out there. I'm not the only one."

    Still, Tomlinson's down game leaves one to wonder.

    He failed to score a touchdown for the second consecutive game, and just the fourth time all season. He caught one pass for zero yards after catching 42 passes in his last 11 games.

    He was also unable to block Dolphins safety Yeremiah Bell in the fourth quarter. Bell blindsided quarterback Drew Brees on the play and forced the game's biggest turnover.

    Tomlinson said his poor showing had more to do with circumstances than anything.

    "I think early on, it was tough to run the football," he said, "and then we started to wear them down some and find some creases and get the running game going.

    "But I think when we went down 20-7, from that standpoint, you don't want to just keep on running the football."

    Indeed, the Dolphins' 17-point third-quarter spurt limited what Chargers could do on the ground.

    Nevertheless, Brees threw 30 of his 52 passes before halftime ---- before the Chargers were trailing. Tomlinson, meanwhile, had just 11 carries for 37 yards at the half, and 13 of those yards came on one run.

    Certainly the Dolphins' defense ---- if not L.T.'s ribs ---- was the culprit there. Tomlinson had few wide-open running lanes, and his trademark cutbacks rarely produced much extra yardage.

    Tomlinson said he hasn't seen such scant running room since the Oct. 23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, in which he was limited to 7 yards on 17 carries.

    "He's the best in the league, and I thought we did a great job against a great back," said veteran Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas, who didn't think Tomlinson looked limited by injury.

    Said Bell: "I think we came out aggressive on him. He had some run lanes that he couldn't get to, and our guys were just coming up and putting a hat on him."
     

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