Bears D-coordinator Vic Fangio: Dolphins RB Frank Gore deserves Hall of Fame nod

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Dolphins running back Frank Gore skips past Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty for a touchdown. | Elise Amendola, AP photo

The Bears will face the fourth-greatest rusher in NFL history Sunday.

Frank Gore, who’s in his first year with the Dolphins, has rushed for 14,228 yards, trailing only Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton and Barry Sanders.

“Frank’s just a great football player, loves football, extremely smart player, great example for young guys on the team,” said Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who ran the 49ers’ defense when Gore played for them. “Great instinctive runner, particularly on the inside. Finds the holes, finds the creases, lowers his pads and gets what’s there and then a few more. If something there is bigger, he’s capable of taking it for a big gain.

“Just based on his numbers alone and production, he’ll be in the Hall of Fame someday.”

The Redskins’ Adrian Peterson (12,518 yards) is the only other active player in the top 10. The Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch (10,334) is the next active player on the list, but he’s 28th all time.

The Dolphins use Gore, 35, judiciously. His 12 carries for 63 yards last week against the Bengals were season highs.

“He hasn’t really slowed down that much,” Fangio said Thursday. “He takes good care of his body. Guys that get that age, a lot of times they lose their ‘stinger’ for the game before they actually lose their skill for the game, and he’s lost zero in his ‘stinger.’ ”

Injury updates

Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller practiced in full for a second consecutive day, further clearing the way for his return Sunday, three weeks after dislocating his left shoulder.

“He’s a guy that, he was a million miles an hour last week when he was down, and it was good to see,” offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich said. “For a young guy like that, took some shots, he wasn’t comfortable with not playing. And so that’s a good thing.’’


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As was the case Wednesday, Marcus Cooper sat out with a hamstring problem. Fellow cornerback Prince Amukamara was limited with the same injury.

Left guard Eric Kush was limited with a neck injury that coach Matt Nagy said was the result of “stingers” he suffered during games. He said the injury had nothing to do with Kush and rookie James Daniels alternating series against the Buccaneers.

Vic on Gase

Fangio said he doesn’t remember giving Dolphins coach Adam Gase advice when Gase was the Bears’ offensive coordinator in 2015. It was never that formal.

“Just a good football coach, likes to study the game, wasn’t afraid to ask questions to get a different perspective on things,” Fangio said. “Just a really good offensive play-caller, too, and he’s doing a good job as a head coach.”

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