NY Jets: Frank Gore’s legendary NFL career could be over

NY Jets, Frank Gore
NY Jets, Frank Gore /

NY Jets’ running back Frank Gore may have played his last game in the NFL.

NY Jets‘ fans have somewhat of a complicated relationship with Frank Gore.

On one hand, he’s an NFL legend and one of the most respected guys to ever step foot on the gridiron. On the other hand, he’s an aging veteran who has been unnecessarily taking snaps away from younger players all year long.

But when you take a step back and realize that the latter isn’t exactly his fault, one can truly recognize the greatness that has been Frank Gore. Unfortunately, the greatness that is his prestigious 16-year career could be coming to an end.

After officially reaching the 16,000-yard mark in the team’s 23-16 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday to solidify himself as the NFL’s third-leading rusher of all-time, Gore trotted to the sideline and then into the locker room.

Head coach Adam Gase spoke to reporters on Monday and indicated that Gore has suffered a collapsed lung that will force him to miss the final game of the season. And as a result, his Jets career is likely over.

Gore joined the Jets on a one-year, $1.05 million contract in the offseason after spending the last two seasons with the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills.

Frank Gore has been a veteran leader for the NY Jets in 2020

By all accounts, Gore has been a consummate professional and a true locker-room leader during his Jets tenure, but his play on the field has been underwhelming.

In 15 games, Gore will finish with 187 carries for 653 yards and two touchdowns for an average of just 3.5 yards per carry — a new career-low. But Gore won’t be remembered for his brief time with the Jets.

The longtime San Francisco 49ers’ running back will be remembered for being one of the most decorated and age-defying running backs in NFL history. With exactly 16,000 yards, Gore trails just Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton on the NFL’s all-time leading rusher list.

A true legend of the sport, Gore will surely be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, even if he never had a true stretch of dominance in his career. Longevity matters and no player’s career is a better example of that than Gore.

Gore might still opt to play again next season. After all, would anybody be surprised if he continued to play into his 40s or until his son, Frank Gore Jr., reached the NFL?

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But in all likelihood, his time with the Jets has come to an end. And if this truly is the end of his NFL career as well, we only wish it was a better sendoff for one of the greats of all-time.