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Lonnie Ford, a former USC defensive lineman and current Arena League fullback, may soon find himself ready to retire from the game of football due to the fact that the Avengers may release him after this season. While there is no such evidence indicating such a possibility, several factors have made this event quite likely.
At fullback for the Avengers, Ford's main job is to provide protection for LA's passers, Tim Hicks and Sonny Cumbie. While number twenty-five has certainly done an adequate job at protecting both Hicks and Cumbie this season, he has been used less frequently to gain yards on the ground.
So far this season, Ford has carried the ball only twenty-two times so far after finishing with 82 attempts a year ago. On his 22 attempts this season, Ford has managed to gain 26 yards, averaging a dismal 1.2 yards per carry. Last season, the veteran from USC averaged a far more respectable of 2.3 yards per carry, which is actually a pretty good YPC stat for the Arena Football League.
While he has had trouble gaining yardage, Ford has still been able to score some touchdowns when the Avengers are within the ten yard line. He has tasted the end zone six times this season, scoring five times on the ground and once through the air.
With Ford slowly declining, the Avengers could look elsewhere for a new fullback. Currently, they are lucky enough to have defensive end Josh Jeffries on the roster as a top-notch backup to Ford. Rookie linebacker Justin Hickman from UCLA could also figure into the fullback position before the year is done. With younger options more readily available, it appears as if Ford's time in LA is running short.