Gore is nearing an agreement with the Lions, Mike Jones of USA Today reports. Gore will celebrate his 35th birthday in May, but he still seemed to have something left in Indianapolis, where he landed between 961 and 1,025 rushing yards the past three seasons while mostly playing behind sub-par offensive lines. He'd be part of a committee in Detroit, joining Theo Riddick, Ameer Abdullah and Tion Green in a backfield that's long been the weak spot of an otherwise solid offense. Gore would have a tough time matching his customary workload in the range of 260 carries per season.
Colts head coach Frank Reich said Wednesday that Gore was informed he likely wouldn't be retained in 2018, Mike Wells of ESPN.com reports. Per Reich, general manager Chris Ballard expressed a desire to go in a different direction and get younger at running back, leaving no room in the team's plans for Gore, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent March 14. Though Gore has shown remarkable durability while having not missed a game over the past seven seasons, his productivity took a hit during his three-year run in Indianapolis. While shoddy offensive-line play didn't help his cause, Gore still failed to crack four yards per carry in any of his seasons with the Colts and offers little impact in the passing game at this stage of his career. Gore, who will turn 35 years old in May, hasn't indicated that he plans to retire, but given his age and lack of versatility, there may not be much of a market for his services as he heads into free agency.
Gore had 24 carries for 100 yards and three receptions for 11 yards in Sunday's win over Houston. He became the fifth player in NFL history with more than 14,000 yards rushing. He has 14,026 yards rushing in his career. Gore says he plans to play in 2018, but it seems unlikely he'll return to Indianapolis with a rebuilding team. Gore finishes the season with 961 yards rushing and four total touchdowns, but just 3.7 yards per carry.
Gore rushed 10 times for 31 yards and brought in three of four targets for 37 yards in Thursday's 25-13 loss to the Broncos. Gore exited the game briefly in the second quarter with a knee injury, but he was able to return to start the second half and became the only other player in NFL history besides Emmitt Smith to post 1,000 yards from scrimmage in 12 consecutive seasons. The 34-year-old unsurprisingly saw a significant drop in workload from Sunday's 36-carry tally in Buffalo's blizzard-like environment, but his receiving yardage total was his second highest total of the season. Gore will now have nine days to prepare for a Week 16 tilt against the Ravens.
Gore (hand) doesn't carry an injury designation heading into Thursday's game against the Broncos. Gore was held out of Tuesday's practice with the hand issue, but it was always believed his day off was for maintenance purposes more than anything else after he logged a season-high 36 carries for 130 yards in a cold, snowy loss to the Bills on Sunday. The running back's return to full practice Wednesday clears up any concern about his status on the short week, though it wouldn't be surprising if head coach Chuck Pagano sprinkled youngster Marlon Mack into the backfield mix more liberally Thursday to avoid overworking Gore.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||259||1033||5||28||218||2||162|