The San Diego Chargers will retire former running back LaDainian Tomlinson's No. 21 in November.
A ceremony will be held at halftime of the Chargers–Chiefs game on Nov. 22. Tomlinson will also be inducted into the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame.
Tomlinson spent nine of his 11 years in the NFL with San Diego. The Chargers drafted him No. 5 in 2001 and he went on to become the franchise's all-time leading rusher.
He played his last two years with the New York Jets before retiring in 2012 as the league's fifth all-time leading rusher with 13,684 career yards.
“This is a special, special opportunity for the Chargers family and all Chargers fans,” said Chargers chairman Dean Spanos. “Few players, if any, have meant more to this franchise than LT. He was the heart and soul of this team through one of the most successful decades in our history. I couldn’t wait to watch him play every week because I knew I would see something special. And that’s what he gave all of us: special memories we’ll carry with us forever.”
In 2006, Tomlinson was named NFL Most Valuable Player, one of just two non-quarterbacks to win the award in the last nine years (the other was Adrian Peterson in 2012). Tomlinson was a five-time Pro Bowler during his career and was named to the NFL 2000's All-Decade Team.
Tomlinson is the fourth player to have his number retired by San Diego. He joins Lance Alworth (No. 19), Dan Fouts (No. 14) and Junior Seau (No. 55).
- Molly Geary