Future Hall of Famer Frank Gore might be finished for the 2018 season, and his future beyond that is a question mark. Gore suffered a foot sprain on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, and and an MRI suggests Gore is not expected to play again this season, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
If this is the end of Gore’s season, he will finish with 722 rushing yards and 154 receiving yards. It would mark the first season since his rookie year that he will not surpass 1,200 total yards from scrimmage for the season. His 12 straight seasons doing that is an NFL record. It also snaps his streak of 122 consecutive games played.
The bigger question is whether or not Gore will return in 2019. He is a free agent and will turn 36. He returned to South Florida to be near his son, who is finishing up his high school career. Gore said earlier this year that he would see how his body feels and if he is up to the grind for another year before deciding if he will retire.
If Gore does elect to retire, he will finish as one of the greatest running backs in NFL history. He ranks fourth in career rushing yards with 14,748, and fifth in total yards from scrimmage with 18,544. If he returns in 2019 he could move into third and fourth place, respectively, but realistically he has nothing left to prove. It would have been nice to see him get another shot at a Lombardi Trophy, but it seems unlikely to happen.
Gore could probably find another team to play for another year, but if not, I have to think he would sign a one-day contract with the 49ers to retire in the place where it all began. He will be inducted into the franchise Hall of Fame before hopefully getting inducted on the first ballot into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I’m not sure if the 49ers will continue retiring numbers now that they have their franchise Hall of Fame, but if they do, No. 21 is an easy choice to be retired.