Neither running back Frank Gore nor head coach Chuck Pagano seem overly concerned about how much the 32-year-old Indianapolis Colts rusher will play in Saturday night’s preseason game against the Chicago Bears.
Pagano hinted Thursday there was a “good chance” Gore would get some playing time, but the coach also said he would “play it by ear” and that neither Pagano nor Gore would mind if the 11th-year veteran sat out much if not all of these exhibitions.
“I don’t have any problem,” Pagano said, “(and) he doesn’t have any problem with doing that.”
Earlier in the week, Gore said he wouldn’t mind a little action, but would abide with whatever Pagano decided.
“If they’re telling me I’m playing, I’m playing,” Gore said. “If they don’t, then I’ll just have to put the cap on. I would like to play to get a couple hits in and get that out of the way.
“Whatever the coach says. If he wants me to dress and play, I’m going to play. If he doesn’t, I listen to him.”
Colts fans are anxious to see the the San Francisco 49ers’ all-time leading rusher in their offense. He made the trip but watched the Colts’ 36-10 preseason loss at the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday.
Gore estimated he had about five carries in the past four preseasons with the 49ers.
Rookie running back Josh Robinson led the Colts with 44 yards rushing on 10 carries with a 9-yard touchdown run against the Eagles. While Gore is understated in interviews, he offers advice to his teammates and likes what he’s seen from Robinson, a sixth-round pick out of Mississippi State.
“I’ve been in this league for a long time and I know as a team if you want to be successful it takes more than one guy,” Gore said. “I think we’ve got a lot of great young guys who work very hard. He’s the rookie and it’s new to him. I just try to keep in his head that it’s just football. As long as you know what you’re doing, just go and do what you’ve been doing your whole life. Even at practice, I try to talk to him. Whatever we’ve practiced, just carry it over into the game.”
If last year is an indicator, the Colts’ first-team offense is expected to play the first quarter against the Bears in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. The two teams scrimmaged Wednesday and Thursday at the Colts’ complex.
How much Gore will be out there, though, won’t be known for certain until the game.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.