Miami Dolphins

Frank Gore closes in on No. 4 rusher in NFL history after making his Dolphins debut

Miami Dolphins Frank Gore (21) runs up the middle as Tennessee Titans Wesley Woodyard (59) attempts to tackle him in the second quarter at Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida, Sunday, September, 9, 2018.
Miami Dolphins Frank Gore (21) runs up the middle as Tennessee Titans Wesley Woodyard (59) attempts to tackle him in the second quarter at Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida, Sunday, September, 9, 2018. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

Frank Gore’s debut with his hometown Miami Dolphins on Sunday almost moved him up in the NFL record book.

With his team-leading 61 rushing yards on nine carries during Miami’s 27-20 win over the Tennessee Titans, Gore now has 14,087 career rushing yards and is 15 away from supplanting Curtis Martin for sole possession of fourth all-time in NFL history. He will likely move into the spot in Week 2 when the Dolphins travel to face the New York Jets.

The only four players who have more rushing yards than Gore in NFL history: Emmitt Smith (18,355), Walter Payton (16,726), Barry Sanders (15,269) and Martin.

“Every time I had an opportunity, I tried to make it count,” Gore said. “And we got the win. That’s big.”

Gore, a Miami native starting his 14th NFL season who attended both Coral Gables High and the University of Miami, played a big role on getting that win started with the Dolphins’ first scoring drive of the season.

Gore carried the ball three times on that 12-play, 98-yard drive — the Dolphins’ longest drive since Sept. 24, 1989, against the New York Jets — picking up 38 yards and a pair of first downs. His 21-yard rush late on the drive set up a 10-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to Kenny Stills for the Dolphins’ first points of the season.

Another interesting note for Gore, who the Dolphins signed to a one-year deal on March 22: Sunday served as just his second game ever at Hard Rock Stadium in 233 career NFL and college games. The other came in December 2015 when he played for the Colts. Gore rushed for 85 yards and two touchdowns in that game.

With Gore expected to play a secondary role in the run game to Kenyan Drake, it’s likely that he won’t make it higher than fourth on the list by the end of the season.

Regardless, he’s already in good company. The 10 running backs ranked in the top-12 all-time who have already retired are in the Hall of Fame.

The 12th: Adrian Peterson, who moved up to 10th all-time with 12,373 on Sunday after gaining 96 yards on 26 carries during his debut with the Washington Redskins on Sunday.

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