After the Colts' season ended on Sunday night, running back Frank Gore described it as the toughest season of his career. There were certainly a lot of things that went into that, such as the Colts' 8-8 record, playing without Andrew Luck for half of the year, front office dysfunction, Gore's career low in yards per carry, and the Colts' run blocking that didn't create many holes. We can add another reason to the list, however, as it sounds like Gore was playing with a broken finger that will require offseason surgery.
Frank Gore will be among the Colts heading for offseason surgery. Has dealt w a badly broken finger, contributed to ball security.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) January 4, 2016
RB Frank Gore is headed to California next week to have surgery for a broken finger on his left hand.— Mike Wells (@MikeWellsNFL) January 4, 2016
Gore provided a spark to the Colts' run game this year, playing in all 16 games and rushing for 967 yards and six touchdowns while averaging 3.7 yards per carry. It was the most productive season by a Colts running back since Joseph Addai topped 1,000 yards in 2007, and Gore gave the team a threat on the ground that they have been missing in recent seasons. He also added 34 receptions for 267 yards and a touchdown in the receiving game. He did, however, fumble four times (losing three of them), which was a bit of a concern. Perhaps the fumbling issues could have been impacted by the broken finger, as it would make holding on to the football more difficult.
We don't know how bad the injury is, but the very fact that it requires surgery should tell us quite a bit about the extent. And as Frank Gore heads toward offseason surgery, it's just another factor in an incredibly tough season for the Colts and for Gore.