Michael Turner should be honored for his career with the Atlanta Falcons by being inducted into the Ring of Honor.
Turner did not come to the Atlanta Falcons until 2008, when he signed a six-year deal worth $34.5 million. Before his time in Atlanta, he was with the San Diego Chargers as a back-up to Hall of Fame RB LaDainian Tomlinson for the first four seasons of his career. He was given some opportunities, but he was behind Tomlinson, who was an absolute monster, so he was not going to get very many chances to prove his worth.
When he signed with the Atlanta Falcons in 2008, it seemed like a decent signing at the time. Nobody could have foreseen the type of season he would ultimately end up having.
He finished the 2008 season with 1,699 yards on 376 carries with 17 touchdowns. He was only 61 yards away from winning the rushing title for that season. Instead, Adrian Peterson claimed the title. His first game with the Atlanta Falcons was record breaking. Against the Detroit Lions, he broke the the single game rushing record for a Falcons running back with 220 rush yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns.
He had a remarkable season that was followed up by a decent second season. His 2009 season was shortened due to injuries, but event then his numbers on the year were respectable with 871 yards on 178 carries with 10 touchdowns.
The next two seasons he rushed for over 1,300 yards respectively and compiled a total of 23 rushing touchdowns. His final season with the Atlanta Falcons was his weakest, but he was nearing the end of his career. He finished his last season of his NFL career with 800 yards on 222 carries with 10 touchdowns.
Turner also was nominated to two Pro Bowls in 2008 and 2010. He was also First Team All-Pro in 2008 and Second Team All-Pro in 2010.
Overall, Turner finished his career with the Atlanta Falcons with 60 career rushing touchdowns, which is a franchise record. He also holds another franchise record for most rushing touchdowns in a season with 17 in 2008.
Over the five seasons spent with the Falcons, he put up great numbers and was a huge reason the Falcons were one of the best teams in the league in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
He’s had many memorable runs where he would carry defenders or run over defenders, like in the 2008 matchup against the Kansas City Chief when he drug 255 pound Pat Thomas for several yards and then continued running. There were many instances when the defenders simply could not get him down, or needed three or four defenders to take him down.
He may not have been around for an extended length of time, but then again, neither was Warrick Dunn and he was inducted into the Ring of Honor in 2017. Dunn was a great running back just like Turner and great running backs should be honored.