Behind Gore, Colts Hope to Finally Find Next Workhorse


The Indianapolis Colts have had a historically woeful ground game in recent seasons. As astutely pointed out by NFL Researcher Bill Smith, the Colts haven’t had a 1,100 yard rusher since Edgerrin James all the way back in 2005:

While that’s a tiny bit of cherry-picking, the team still hasn’t had a 1,000 yard rusher since Joseph Addai in 2007, which is still a really long time ago. In fact, when one looks over the team’s leading rusher in recent seasons, and it’s a fairly uninspiring group:

The fact that two former first round busts, who are no longer with the team, in both Trent Richardson and Donald Brown were the Colts leading rusher in 4 of the team’s past 5 seasons really says all that one needs to know. Digging even further, the fact that only one running back in Vick Ballard during his rookie season in 2012 has rushed for over 800 rushing yards in the past 5 seasons is a telling sign in itself.

Sep 28, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (21) runs for a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second quarter at Levi

With the Colts signing high-profile veteran free agent running back Frank Gore this offseason, things will hopefully change for the better. The former San Francisco 49ers great has rushed for over 1,000 rushing yards in 8 of his 10 seasons in the NFL, including 1,106 rushing yards just last season.

Best case, the Colts are hoping that Gore will be the first Colts running back to surpass 1,100 rushing yards since one of his Miami Hurricane predecessors in Edgerrin James did it for the team way back in 2005. If nothing else, Gore should rush for more yards than any running back has for the Colts in the last 7 seasons, where Joseph Addai‘s 828 rush yards in 2009 are currently the high.

While to be fair, the NFL has switched to more of a platoon running back system, and there are very few true “workhorse” running backs anymore. The Colts should very well reasonably expect Gore to flirt with the 1,000 rushing yard barrier, even if a running back like Dan Herron still gets a handful of reps behind him in relief. In truth, Gore is one of the last of a dying breed of a true workhorse running back, but the Colts are happy to now have him in their stable.

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