Running back is a very topical position in the NFL heading into the 2023 season. Led by Chargers running back Austin Ekeler, the most prominent backs in the sport are starting to speak up about how much the position makes compared to their peers.
The truth of the matter is that while running backs are important, they are more replaceable in 2023 than they were 30 years ago. The last Super Bowl-winning running back to be a Pro Bowler was Marshawn Lynch. The last team to win the Super Bowl with the league's leading rusher was the 1995 Cowboys. Football has simply evolved.
For that reason, we may never see a running back that challenges the title for being the greatest of all time and we might struggle to see another Chargers back climb into the franchise's top-five list.
Greatest Chargers running backs of all time: 5. Marion Butts
This is a toss-up between two players as Chuck Muncie also has a strong case to make for this list. Muncie's 1981 and 1982 seasons were elite and are one of the best stretches of football for anyone on this list. However, the overall numbers are not in Muncie's favor.
Butts was one year away from being the only back on this list to make the Super Bowl but that honor goes to Natrone Means. However, where Butts lacked in Super Bowls he made up with Pro Bowls, making the Pro Bowl twice and being a second team All-Pro once.
Butts is seventh in franchise history in rushing touchdowns, seventh in total touchdowns and third in total rushing yards. He is fourth in franchise history in games started for a running back with 57.