Lionel James

Lionel James
No. 26
Position: Running back
Personal information
Born: (1962-05-25) May 25, 1962
Albany, Georgia
Height: 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Weight: 171 lb (78 kg)
Career information
High school: Albany (GA) Dougherty
College: Auburn
NFL Draft: 1984 / Round: 5 / Pick: 118
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards: 1,061
Average: 4.6
Rushing TDs: 4
Receptions: 209
Receiving yards: 2,278
Receiving TDs: 10
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Lionel "Little Train" James (born May 25, 1962) is a former professional American football player who was selected by the San Diego Chargers in the 5th round of the 1984 NFL Draft. Undersized at 5 feet 6 inches (1.68 m) and 171 pounds (78 kg), James played running back at Auburn University where he shared the backfield with Bo Jackson. James would be a part of the 1983 SEC Champion and Sugar Bowl champion team. He spent his entire 5-year NFL career with the Chargers from 1984-1988. His best year as a pro came during the 1985 season when he set the then-NFL season records for receiving yards by a running back and all-purpose yardage. He also led the AFC in receptions that year.

In 1985, James set the NFL record for all purpose yards in a season with 2,535 yards. He also set the record for receiving yards by a running back with 1,027 yards,[1] while also leading the AFC in receptions with 86. On November 10, 1985, he had his best day as a pro versus the Los Angeles Raiders. He gained 345 all-purpose yards including a career best 168 yards receiving and scored the winning touchdown in a 40–34 overtime victory.[1] The total yardage was second at the time only to the 373 yards by Billy Cannon in 1961, and remains a Chargers franchise record. He might have broken the record in an earlier game that season against the Cincinnati Bengals except for a Chargers penalty that cost him 89 yards of a 100-yard kickoff return. James finished that game with 316 yards.[2]

James record for receiving yards by a running back was broken by Marshall Faulk (1,048) in 1999,[3] and his all purpose yardage record was eclipsed in 2000 by Derrick Mason (2,690 yards).[4]

See also

References and notes

  1. 1 2 Neville, David (March 31, 2003). "Little Big Man". San Diego Chargers. Archived from the original on February 3, 2011. Retrieved February 3, 2011.
  2. Janofsky, Michael (November 12, 1985). "Smallest Player Aims For Biggest Gain". The New York Times. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
  3. Lahman, Sean (2008). The Pro Football Historical Abstract: A Hardcore Fan's Guide to All-Time Player Rankings. Globe Pequot. p. 119. ISBN 978-1-59228-940-0. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  4. "NFL Single-Season All-Purpose Yards Leaders". Retrieved August 26, 2011.
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