Running Back Burning Questions Heading Into OTAs

Intro: We are less than two weeks away from the Colts beginning their 2016 offseason program. Where do the questions start at the running back position in 2016?

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INDIANAPOLIS –April on the calendar means work is about to start back up for the Indianapolis Colts.

With the team's offseason program commencing on April 18, we start our burning question series.

Over the next week and a half, Colts.com will take a look at the "Burning Questions" surrounding all position groups entering 2016.

Here's a look at the running back burning questions heading into the offseason program:

  • Can Frank Gore keep up this pace at the age of 33?

Frank Gore gave the Colts what they were looking for out of their starting running back in 2016.

Availability and consistent production was what the Colts had long desired for at running back.

Gore was that in 2016.

He once again started in all 16 games.

He ran for 967 rushing yards on 260 carries.

The number '967' doesn't jump off the page for a running back, but it is when you take a closer look at the circumstances around Gore in 2015.

Andrew Luck missed nine games last season. Without Luck in the lineup, Gore's yards per carry went from 4.1 to 3.5.

Anthony Castonzo missed three contests last year. Without Castonzo in the lineup, Gore's yards per carry went from 3.9 to 2.7.

When the Colts were without two of their most offensive pieces, opponents could load the box against a beaten up unit.

Despite that, Gore still fell just short of becoming the first Colts' player to reach 1,000 yards since 2007.

Gore, who turns 33 in May, remains an incredibly durable and productive running back in the NFL.

STAT TO NOTE: Gore had the third most rushing yards in the AFC last season.**

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  • What do the Colts have in backups Robert Turbin and Jordan Todman?

Finding a backup for Frank Gore was on the offseason checklist for the Colts.

Early patience in free agency led to the Colts bringing in a pair of veteran backs who have served backup roles in the NFL.

Turbin was Marshawn Lynch's backup from 2012-14, before an ankle injury hampered his 2015 campaign.

The Colts brought in Turbin, after he has proven to be a three-down option thanks to a 222-pound frame and 50 career receptions.

For Todman, injuries last year in Pittsburgh slid him up the team's depth chart. He had 11 carries for 65 yards in Pittsburgh's playoff win over the Bengals.

Todman has earned various special teams roles in previous NFL stops, something the Colts were attracted to after already bringing in Turbin.

The Colts would love some consistency behind Gore, after attrition led to a handful of different backups in 2015.

STAT TO NOTE: While an ankle injury limited Turbin in 2015, the 26-year-old didn't miss a game from 2012-14 in Seattle.

  • Is the Colts' future at running back on the roster?

At the League Meetings last month, Ryan Grigson made it a point to mention the Colts haven't ruled out taking a running back come draft time.

Delve deeper into the running back depth chart and you see why.

Gore turns 33 years old in May (another reminder of his remarkable longevity).

The backups, Robert Turbin and Jordan Todman, are both on one-year contracts.

Tyler Varga and Trey Williams round out the group with three combined carries.

That's why the Colts aren't shutting the door at adding another running back this offseason.

Recently, teams have found running back success late in drafts.

The Colts will be monitoring that position closely come April 28-30.

STAT TO NOTE: Gore's 76 consecutive regular season games started is the longest active streak in the NFL.

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