LaDainian Tomlinson to Sit First Two Months of Season with Jet Lag

One day after signing LaDainian Tomlinson to a two-year, $5 million contract, the Jets received some bad news from their new running back: Tomlinson, exhausted from jet lag after flying back and forth to and from San Diego, will skip the first two months of the season in order to “stay fresh.”
“This is just a minor setback for me,” Tomlinson told radio host Mike Francesca. “I’m feeling very tired from flying between San Diego and New York and obviously I’m going to be doing a lot more of those trips leading up to the season, so I really need to….oh, God, I’m tired … excuse me. Wow. I don't want to yawn. Where was I? Oh, so I really need to sit out for the first two months of the season. Could I play? I suppose it’s possible. But I don’t want to go out there and put myself at risk if I’m only 98 or 99 percent. I need to be 100 percent.”
Tomlinson, who has long battled the perception that he is fragile, said this latest physical sebtback has nothing to do with toughness.
“I am tough. That's not a question,” he said. “It’s not even really an injury. I’m just a little zonked that’s all. Tired. Groggy. And if I play that way, it couldleadto an injury. So instead of being ‘fragile’ and missing time due to injury, I am working to prevent injuries from happening. What are people not understanding here? It's quite simple.”
Jets players are privately voicing their frustration with the Tomlinson signing, especially since locker room-favorite Thomas Jones was cut to make room for him. Jones was seen as a warrior who would play through injuries, while Tomlinson is seen as a big fairy.
“Thomas Jones would never sit out because of jet lag. Thomas Jones wouldn’t sit out for a dislocated shoulder,” said one player. “And now his replacement is holding himself out of the first two months of the season? This isn’t how you win a ring. Well, since I’ve been a Jet my whole career I guess I really have no idea how to win a ring, but I’m assuming this isn’t how you do it.”
Tomlinson is slated to return in early November, leaving the Jets without their main free agent pickup for half the season. Head coach Rex Ryan, however, says the team is not concerned about the injury and was not surprised to hear about it.
“LaDainian Tomlinson has some ailment. This is not news,” Ryan said today. “We all know when we signed him that he would miss some time. That’s LaDainian. He’s not exactly Jim Brown, but when he is in the game he’s a force to be reckoned with, especially if he’s running behind a good offensive line and it’s five years ago.”