I don't know if his toe is the problem, or if his age is the problem, but Tomlinson simply isn't the same back we've come to lean on in Fantasy Football. In fact, I'm not even sure if he's a No. 1 Fantasy RB anymore.
What I am about to say is going to make you groan and cringe: Last night, Tomlinson reminded me of Shaun Alexander, circa 2007.
Ugh, I feel dirty just TYPING that.
I'm a big fan of Tomlinson, especially since he's such a big part of Fantasy Football. Like all the other big name offensive NFL players, someone in every single league relies on LT each week, so it's in everyone's best interests that he plays well.
But in Week 3, with the national spotlight on him, Tomlinson's electric moves and trademark acceleration were replaced by a seemingly magnetic draw to Jets defenders on every single carry he had. Shaun Alexander and Cedric Benson were two rushers who had that last year, and they're both out of the league now. It's not surprising at all that Tomlinson's longest run of the game -- on 26 carries -- was five yards. The two touchdowns were both short-yardage jobbers where all he had to do was dive. It was painful to watch.
Worse yet, there were times when San Diego ran the ball, and I did see that trademark speed. "Oh, there he is," I thought. But every single time, it was Darren Sproles.
After the game, Tomlinson pinned his shaky yardage on his sprained right big toe.
"Today was going to be one of those physical running days," Tomlinson said. "Making one cut and going straight ahead is not a problem for me."He added that he was happy with how his toe felt after the game.
"I think I'm pretty close. If my toe feels like it does now, I think I'll practice for the full week this week," he said.So the bottom line is that Tomlinson feels his toe is holding him back. For now, we have no choice but to take his word for it. And for the sake of the millions of people who start Tomlinson in their Fantasy leagues week in and week out, I hope he's right.