Chargers reportedly blocking Rivers, Gates from Tomlinson's HOF induction
Anthony Lynn wants both at the first training camp practice at the team's new facility
Among the seven people being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this coming weekend is Chargers legend LaDainian Tomlinson. And two of his best teammates still with the team, Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates, have reportedly been told by new Chargers coach Anthony Lynn that they need to be at practice on Saturday -- and not in Canton, Ohio.
Given their stature and their closeness, one would think that Rivers and Gates would be given leave by the Chargers to attend Tomlinson's induction. It's pretty standard procedure for teams to allow their players a day off from training camp to head to Canton for the induction of former teammates, after all.
But the Chargers are not letting this happen, according to a report from Alex Marvez in the Sporting News.
Two of LaDainian Tomlinson's former teammates with the now-Los Angeles Chargers are being blocked from attending the running back's Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday.
Two sources told Sporting News that new Chargers coach Anthony Lynn is insisting that quarterback Philip Rivers and tight end Antonio Gates instead participate in the team's first training camp session at the StubHub Center. One source said Gates is considering going, anyway, even if the trip draws a fine.
There's really no other way to put it: this is bad form by the Chargers. Sure, it's the first practice at the new facility, but there will be plenty of practices there. Tomlinson is only going to enter the Hall of Fame once. The Chargers should let Rivers and Gates attend the ceremony to show their support and admiration for their former teammate. And now that their decision to prevent it has become public, I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually relent on their stance. Any controversy that results could have been avoided if they'd just let it happen in the first place.
Tomlinson starred for nine seasons with the Chargers, racking up 12,490 rushing yards and 138 touchdowns, along with 530 catches for an additional 3,955 yards and 17 touchdowns. He led the NFL in rushing yards twice and rushing touchdowns three times, and broke the single-season record for total touchdowns in 2006. He made the Pro Bowl five times and was named to six All-Pro teams (three first team and three second team). He added to those totals in two years with the New York Jets, but of course he is primarily known for his exploits in blue and gold.
Rivers was drafted in 2004 and eventually took over as the team's starting quarterback in 2006, and was Tomlinson's teammate for six seasons. Gates signed with the team as an undrafted free agent in 2003, and spent seven seasons playing alongside LT. The trio formed the foundation of the San Diego offense for Tomlinson's last four seasons with the team.
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