Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson said the team’s Jan. 1 regular-season finale against the Miami Dolphins may be his last game if New York doesn’t make the National Football League playoffs.
“There is definitely a thought that this could be, because you never know how things shake out,” he told reporters yesterday. “I would love to keep playing, but if the situation is not right, then I won’t. This possibly could be my last game.”
The Jets need a win against the Dolphins and losses by three other teams to claim the American Football Conference’s final wild-card berth and reach the playoffs.
Tomlinson, 32, needs 35 yards rushing to pass Jerome Bettis for fifth place on the NFL’s career list. He has 224 yards rushing this season and 13,628 overall.
“If this is my last game, I’ve enjoyed 11 years of playing football, playing a kid’s game (with) two great organizations,” Tomlinson said. “There is nothing I could complain about.”
Tomlinson, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, had nine seasons with the San Diego Chargers before he signed a two-year contract with the Jets in 2010.
He set an NFL record for single-season touchdowns with 31 and single-season rushing touchdowns with 28 in 2006. He also holds the record for most points scored in a single season with 186, also in 2006.
Tomlinson has scored three touchdowns this season with the Jets, pushing his career total to 162 and joining Emmitt Smith and Jerry Rice as the only players with 160 or more touchdowns. He is second behind Smith in rushing touchdowns with 145.
He is fifth in career yards from scrimmage with 18,377 and, with 620 catches, is one of four running backs to have 600 or more career receptions -- joining Larry Centers, Marshall Faulk and Keith Byars.