San Diego Chargers  

 

Tomlinson a full participant at Chargers' first minicamp

  • By Associated Press
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SAN DIEGO -- LaDainian Tomlinson was back where he wanted to be: Chargers Park.

Tomlinson, whose return to San Diego was in doubt before he restructured his contract in March, was smiling Sunday. He participated in all three days of the Chargers' minicamp after a groin injury kept him from the team's final playoff game last season.

LaDainian Tomlinson , RB
San Diego Chargers

2008 Statistics:
Car/Rec: 292/52
Total yards: 1,536
Touchdowns: 12

"L.T. looks great," coach Norv Turner said. "He has been out here running for a month, so he didn't show anything different."

Tomlinson didn't show any signs of his latest injury. The NFL's record holder for touchdowns in a season is pleased with his offseason preparations.

"It's just good to get out and run around again," Tomlinson said. "And be healthy."

Tomlinson is about to turn 30, which is normally the age when running backs start to decline. And while Tomlinson had a career-low 1,110 yards rushing last season, that was still fourth best in the AFC.

But he looked spry on Sunday as he aims for his ninth NFL season.

"No, I wasn't restricted and I did everything," said Tomlinson, who was also slowed by a toe injury in 2008. "Of course you are always concerned because it is the first time back on the field and especially after being injured. But I wasn't restricted at all and it was great."

Some key Chargers, though, are still on the mend.

Among those not participating Sunday were linebacker Shawne Merriman (knee), defensive tackle Jamal Williams (knees), left tackle Marcus McNeill (neck) and tight end Antonio Gates (toe).

Overall, Turner was upbeat about the progress his team is making. He noted the newest Chargers were impressive, led by top draft pick Larry English, an outside linebacker from Northern Illinois.

"It's as good a young group that I have been around considering the drafted players, and we were able to get some priority college free agents who are really very good," he said. "I feel good about the additions we have made to this football team."

The Chargers won the AFC West at 8-8, beat the Indianapolis Colts in an overtime playoff game, then were outmuscled by the eventual Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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