After his second ACL tear at the University of Miami, Frank Gore almost ditched football. Instead, 12 NFL seasons later, the running back is poised to pass Jim Brown in the record books.
With 20 yards on Sunday versus the Chicago Bears, Gore will pass the man most regard as the best ever to wear shoulder pads on the all-time rushing yards list.
"It's crazy, huh?," Gore said, via ESPN.com. "I've had a blessed career, especially with what I've been through in college. All the doubts because of the injuries. I've been on some good teams, played with some good players, played with a bunch of good guys who blocked for me. Right now I'm playing and I want to keep going."
Gore speaks humbly and runs with a big stick.
Heading into Sunday's contest, Gore earned 12,293 yards rushing for his career. There was nothing hollow about those yards.
"He looks for contact. He never bows down to it. He's the ultimate competitor, which I think is a great way to describe him," Pat McAfee said. "Every yard he looks at as his. To get to No. 9 in the history in the NFL, you have to think so many thousands of guys that have tried to come to the NFL and be the next big name. Frank Gore is that guy."
Added veteran linebacker Robert Mathis: "Forget pretty impressive, it's mighty damn impressive. He's in the presence of greatness. He truly does come to work with the intention of getting better working hard and he's that throwback, hard-nosed, classic type of running back. He earns everything he gets."
Gore is the picture of reliability and consistency. He hasn't missed a game since 2010.
The veteran would have passed Brown long ago if he got some better blocking. Gore hasn't had a 100-yard game since his last wearing a San Francisco 49ers jersey in 2014. As a Colt, Gore has spent 20 games below the 100-yard barrier. That struggle isn't a Gore problem; it's an Indy problem. The Colts haven't had a rusher top 100-yards in a game since Vick Ballard in 2012.