Lionel James

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Lionel James
No. 26
Position: Running back
Personal information
Born: (1962-05-25) May 25, 1962 (age 56)
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[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b 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. 

External links[edit]