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Chargers expect to lose Mike Tolbert, sign another running back

Mike Tolbert

San Diego Chargers running back Mike Tolbert (35) celebrates a 13-yard touchdown run against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 5, 2011, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

AP

For the second consecutive offseason, the Chargers are preparing to lose a running back who’s also a solid contributor on special teams.

Mike Tolbert isn’t Darren Sproles, but he’s an important player in San Diego who led the Chargers in touchdowns last season and is also one of their best tacklers in kick coverage. Tolbert is about to become a free agent, and Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego reports that the Chargers expect to lose him.

Although the Chargers and Tolbert’s agent have talked about a new deal, there doesn’t seem to be any progress, and it appears that Tolbert will test the market and ultimately sign elsewhere.

That means the Chargers will be in the market for another running back to operate as the backup to starter Ryan Mathews. Acee mentions Cadillac Williams and Michael Bush as possibilities.