The Indianapolis Colts upgraded their running back position when Frank Gore signed during the offseason, but head coach Chuck Pagano isn’t rushing the veteran into action.
According to Kevin Bowen of the team’s official site, Pagano said the Colts must be smart with Gore’s touches on Sunday.
Pagano on watching Frank Gore’s pitch count: “Very close. We’ve got to be smart with the amount of carries."
— Kevin Bowen (@KBowen1070) September 9, 2015
Gore, who logged just four carries during the preseason, will be eased into action. Josh Robinson and Tyler Varga are the favorites to split the remainder of time, since Vick Ballard has been sidelined due to a hamstring injury.
Additionally, the Colts can simply ignore using a running back, too. Andrew Luck has a bevy of weapons in T.Y. Hilton, Andre Johnson, Donte Moncrief, Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener, so the Indianapolis offense could occasionally utilize empty-back formations.
No matter what happens in the season-opener against the Buffalo Bills, though, Gore will be a critical piece of the Colts’ potential success in 2015. He’s a talented runner, stout blocker and capable receiver, which is an all-around skill set Luck hasn’t had complement him in Indy.
Gore’s debut—however limited—will officially arrive on Sunday, Sep. 13, at 1 p.m. ET.