Frank Gore continued his road to the Hall of Fame on Thursday Night Football, reaching a mark that only Emmitt Smith reached in his Hall of Fame career. Gore had 68 yards from scrimmage against the Denver Broncos, which gives him 1,009 total yards from scrimmage this season. This marks the 12th straight season he has reached that mark. Only Emmitt Smith has done that in NFL history. Smith did it 13 consecutive seasons starting in his rookie campaign, and did it 14 out of his 15 total NFL seasons.
Gore’s future beyond this season is unknown for the time being. He sounds like he wants to keep playing, but in recent years he has offered a caveat on his future. He has said he goes to Miami for his offseason workouts, and if he can keep up with the younger players, he’ll play another season. I have a hunch we see him playing next year, but we probably will learn more in the spring.
Gore is a free agent after this season, so his future will not just be his own decision. I have a hunch somebody would be willing to bring him in next season, but will he land a starting role, or will he be a complementary option to close out his career? If he can’t find a starting job, that might be enough for him to call it a career. He’s put together Hall of Fame numbers already, but if he can get one more year in, he would likely pass Curtis Martin for fifth on the all-time rushing leaderboard, and Marcus Allen and maybe Barry Sanders for sixth on all-time yards from scrimmage leaderboard.
On a related note, my favorite recent quotation about Gore came from Joe Staley this week:
Frank Gore needs 59 yds to become 2nd player in NFL history with 1,000+ scrimmage yards in 12 straight seasons. Emmitt Smith is the other. Joe Staley: "I will 100-percent root for Frank Gore. I always will. He’s one of my favorite guys, ever – not only in football but in life."— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) December 14, 2017