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In last Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons, Colts running back Frank Gore was pretty beat up. CBS reported during the game that it was a quad contusion, others said it was a knee injury, while the Colts' injury report listed Gore with an ankle injury yesterday after he missed practice. Head coach Chuck Pagano probably summed it up best when he said that Gore is dealing with "bumps and bruises."
Either way, the injury has led to Gore's status for Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers being in doubt. Rotoworld's Evan Silva mentioned on twitter this morning that ESPN's Adam Schefter said that there's a legitimate question about Gore's availability.
Schefter said #Colts hopeful Frank Gore (ankle) will play Sun, but it's a legit "question" whether or not he'll play. Bradshaw next in line.— Evan Silva (@evansilva) November 26, 2015
Frank Gore hasn't missed a game since 2010, playing in 74 straight games (82 straight if you include playoffs), so we absolutely shouldn't rule him out quite yet. He did miss practice on Wednesday, but that was only the first day of the week and so this isn't something to freak out about yet, but it does sound like it's a real possibility that the Colts could be without their starting running back on Sunday.
Gore has rushed for 633 yards and four touchdowns in ten games this year (averaging 3.9 yards per carry) and also adding 25 receptions for 181 yards. He has had troubles with fumbles (fumbling four times and losing three), but he has been a massive upgrade at the running back position for Indy and is, as of right now, still on pace to be the franchise's first 1,000-yard rusher since Joseph Addai in 2007.
The Colts do have a decent backup option to Gore, however, and we saw that last Sunday when Ahmad Bradshaw played just as many snaps as Gore. Bradshaw hasn't been overly impressive running the football this year (rushing 27 times for 79 yards), but he has been a huge boost both with his blocking and his receiving, as he has caught seven passes for 44 yards and three touchdowns. Bradshaw has played in 18 games so far with the Colts (dating back to the 2013 season) and has scored 13 total touchdowns, nine of which have been in the passing game. Last week against Atlanta, Bradshaw saw his most extensive action of the season, rushing nine times for 32 yards (3.6 yards per carry) and catching four passes for 20 yards and two scores.
Again, don't rule Frank Gore out quite yet, as he is among the most durable running backs in football, but at the same time realize that there is a question about his status this Sunday. The injury to Gore is absolutely something to keep an eye on in the next couple of days.
UPDATE: Colts.com's Kevin Bowen notes that Frank Gore appears to be back at work at Thursday's practice, which would certainly be a good sign.
Thanksgiving practice underway for the Colts. Outside on a nice day. Looks like Gore, Davis back to work today. No Adams, Walden or Toler— Kevin Bowen (@KBowenColts) November 26, 2015
UPDATE (2): Frank Gore is officially listed as probable by the Colts, so he is likely to play.