Running back Frank Gore came to Indianapolis with Super Bowl aspirations.
Three years later Youth Calvin Ridley Jersey , he’s leaving without a ring or an assurance he’ll ever play another football game.
General manager Chris Ballard announced Wednesday the Colts do not intend to re-sign the 34-year-old, soon-to-be free agent, who is ranked No. 5 in career rushing.
”Frank is at a point where he knows we need to get younger,” Ballard said during the first day of the NFL’s annual scouting combine in Indianapolis. ”And I wanted to give Frank a chance to finish his career where he wants to.”
Not much followed the script after Gore opted to reunite with college teammate Andre Johnson with the Colts.
After quarterback Andrew Luck reached three consecutive Pro Bowls and made three straight playoff appearances, taking Indy one step deeper each season, Gore and others thought the Colts were on the verge of a breakout.
Instead, Luck hurt his throwing shoulder three weeks into the 2015 season and everything has gone south.
He has missed 26 of 48 games over the past three seasons, each of which ended with Indy missing the postseason. General manager Ryan Grigson, who signed Gore, was fired following the 2016 season and coach Chuck Pagano was fired in December.
Now, with Luck apparently on the road back to Indy, Gore is on his way out.
Ballard said Luck is expected to return to team headquarters in early April to continue rehabbing.
Getting Luck back in town would be a welcome change for the Colts, who monitored Luck’s recovery for the nearly six weeks he spent in Europe and the eight weeks he has spent in California since the end of the season.
”Is it going to help having Andrew back in the building? Absolutely,” Ballard said. ”But I think it will be good for Andrew to be around the locker room and among his guys, and I think he’d tell you the same thing.”
He and just about everyone else, though, will miss Gore’s leadership and optimism.
Despite playing behind a struggling, ineffective offensive line each season in Indy, he never complained. He simply kept working Youth Hayden Hurst Jersey , talking positive and plugging ahead.
The results were impressive.
After falling 33 yards short of his ninth 1,000-yard season in 2015, he rebounded with 1,025 yards at age 33 in 2016 – making him the oldest 1,000-yard rusher since 35-year-old John Riggins in 1982. Then in December, the ageless Gore had a career-high 36 carries for 130 yards in an overtime loss in a Buffalo blizzard.
He even made passing some of the league’s best runners look routine.
Ballard said Gore actually broke his thumb during that Buffalo game and doctors told him they could repair it by inserting a pin. While Gore never hinted publicly he was hurt, it was a different story behind closed doors.
”Frank said `I’m a football player, I’m playing,”’ Ballard said.
Four days later, Gore was back on the field against Denver. Three weeks later, Gore played in his 48th and final game with the Colts – a 24-carry, 100-yard performance that left him just 76 yards short of passing Curtis Martin for No. 4.
The only other players ahead of Gore are Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton and Barry Sanders.
His nine 1,000-yard seasons are fifth behind Smith (11), Payton, Sanders and Martin (10), and he holds the league record with 12 consecutive seasons with 1,200 yards from scrimmage.
But he was always about more than numbers.
”He’s a legend in my mind,” new coach Frank Reich said. ”He set the standard for on what backs did in (pass) protection.”
And even though Baker Mayfield Jersey Elite , he still wants a ring, he’s not willing to sacrifice his principles to get one.
”I know I still can play, and I know I want to help a team,” he said in late December. ”I don’t want to just be part of a team, I want to help a team, and I don’t want anyone to say I rode the bench to get a ring.”
Long after the Detroit Tigers broke the game open, JaCoby Jones made the play of the day.
Maybe even the play of the year in the Comerica Park outfield.
Jones’ twisting, backhanded catch in the sixth inning took a home run away from Adrian Beltre in Detroit’s 7-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.
The Tigers scored all their runs in the first, chasing Cole Hamels before that inning was over. It was still 7-0 when Jones made his spectacular catch in left-center field.
Beltre’s drive was headed toward the Texas bullpen, but Jones came over from center and jumped, reaching over the wall with his left hand and backhanding the ball. Jones’ momentum spun him around a bit, and he fell forward onto the ground, holding on for the out.
”You have to time it,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. ”As you saw, his whole arm went over the fence, and he snagged it behind. It’s a timing thing, and you have to be athletic to be able to do some of those things.”
Jones did not stay in the clubhouse to talk to reporters afterward.
Hamels (4-8) retired only two batters for the Rangers in his shortest start since 2010.
Mike Fiers (6-5) allowed a run and five hits in six innings. He struck out six with one walk.
Rougned Odor hit a solo homer for Texas immediately after Beltre was robbed by Jones. Shin-Soo Choo doubled twice for the Rangers to extend his on-base streak to 46 games, tying Julio Franco’s club record set in 1993.
Niko Goodrum had four hits for the Tigers.
Nicholas Castellanos opened the scoring with a solo homer with one out in the first. John Hicks added an RBI single, and Jose Iglesias hit an infield single with two outs and the bases loaded to make it 3-0.
Hamels still would have made it out of the inning Browns Baker Mayfield Jersey , but center fielder Delino DeShields misplayed a line drive by Jones for an error , allowing three more runs to score.
”It just knuckled on me,” DeShields said. ”I was trying to stay with it, but it swerved on me at the last second. It’s frustrating, because you are doing everything you can to make the play, but he hit it right on the screws and right at me, and that’s when a ball will take off on you.”
Mikie Mahtook followed with an RBI double, and Hamels was replaced after allowing five hits, two walks and three earned runs. He threw 41 pitches.
It was the shortest start for Hamels since June 1, 2010, when he also lasted two-thirds of an inning for Philadelphia at Atlanta. That start was shortened because of a rain delay.
Hamels had gone at least five innings in each of his first 17 starts this year.
”By the time he gave up the double, he was pushing 40 pitches, and that’s my limit,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. ”Once you get to 40 in one inning, you are pitching fatigued, and it is too much of a risk to leave him out there. I’m not going to do that to one of my pitchers.”
ON A ROLL
Goodrum had his second four-hit game in a week. He also went 4 for 4 at Toronto on July 1.
He’s hitting .464 (13 for 28) over his last seven games.
”I didn’t know that,” he said. ”The only stats I can see is what they show on the board of everyone.”
Rangers: SS Elvis Andrus appeared to foul a pitch off his left leg in the fifth but remained in the game. He was taken out in the eighth.
Michael Fulmer (3-7) takes the mound for Detroit against Austin Bibens-Dirkx (1-2) in the series finale Sunday.