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Frank Gore Breaks 49ers' All-Time Rushing Record: How Much Is Left in the Tank?

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 04:  Frank Gore #21 of the San Francisco 49ers runs with the ball against the St. Louis Rams at Candlestick Park on December 4, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Jesse ReedCorrespondent IDecember 5, 2011

San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore set the franchise's all-time rushing record against the St. Louis Rams, rushing for 73 yards on 21 carries. This gives him 7,396 yards for his career.

Running backs often have a short shelf-life in the NFL. So, how much is left in the tank for Gore? 

 

More than just your average wear and tear

Frank Gore has dealt with his fair share of injuries over the course of his college and NFL career. 

Gore was highly recruited coming out of high school. He was ranked the 18th best prospect in the nation and could have attended almost any college he wanted to. Gore is a family man, however, and decided to stay close to home to attend to his sick mother, who was dealing with kidney problems and needed to keep up with dialysis treatments.

While at the Miami, Gore suffered a devastating knee injury when he tore his ACL in the spring of 2002. It took the entire 2002 season to get back into football shape.

He came back in 2003 and had a good college career, ranking seventh on Miami's all-time rushing list (1,975) and 10th in rushing touchdowns (17).

Gore was taken by the 49ers in the third round of the 2005 NFL draft. He only started one game that season. 

Starting in 2006, Gore has been and continues to be the 49ers lead running back, and he has been highly productive for the team.

Since being drafted, however, Gore has suffered more than his fair share of injuries. He missed two games due to a pulled groin in 2005, missed a couple more in both 2008 and 2009, and then in 2010 Gore fractured his hip, landing on the team's injured reserve list and ending his season.

Gore has also been fighting against nagging injuries all season in 2011. 

 

He's already beating the odds

The average career for running backs in the NFL is only 2.57 years. Gore, already in season No. 7, has survived the brutal game of football longer than most.

Watching Gore run this season, you can see that when he has lanes to run through, even if they are the slightest cracks, he can still burst through and pop some long runs.

It seems to me that Gore could very well play into his early 30s. He has proven over time to be durable enough to take the best the NFL could offer and still keep plugging away.

Unless he sustains a devastating injury, there is still plenty left in the tank for "the Inconvenient Truth."

Gore should be a featured back for the 49ers for at least a few more years, and it wouldn't surprise me to see him break the 10,000-yard mark for his career.

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