Pagano: Colts plan to keep Frank Gore on pitch count

The Indianapolis Colts loom as a tantalizing Super Bowl 50 pick for a rash of obvious reasons:

It starts with quarterback Andrew Luck, already crowed about by a legion of coaches and personnel people as a future Hall of Famer.

The Colts have also collected an insane amount of pass-catching talent with Andre Johnson, Donte Moncrief, Griff Whalen and head-turning rookie Phillip Dorsett alongside T.Y. Hilton.

The cherry on top, though, was replacing the painfully frustrating Trent Richardson for trustworthy, hard-hitting veteran runner Frank Gore, who is fired up about his new quarterback and Indy's multi-threat offense after years of seeing eight-man boxes in San Francisco.

Gore is a strong bet to top his 1,106 yards from last season, but at age 32, the veteran will be treated with care by a Colts coaching staff that wants to keep him fresh deep into January. Coach Chuck Pagano conceded Wednesday that Gore will operate on a pitch count -- at least to start the year, per ESPN.

It's not a surprise. Gore barely saw the field in the preseason and will earn his share of recovery days as winter nears. We don't expect Indy to limit him in games, but sixth-rounder Josh Robinson and fullback Tyler Varga will play, especially in wipeouts.

Pagano confirmed that all three backs "will be up" for Sunday's opener against the Buffalo Bills. After months of pondering how Gore will perform behind Luck, we're finally about to get a look at the "Inconvenient Truth."

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