KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Less than a week after Derrick Gore rushed for the first touchdown of his career, the Chiefs running back hopes to return to the field and build on that opportunity.
“It’s been a long, a long time coming honestly, but uh, just taking each day one day at a time. Take advantage of the reps I get, whether it’s one or seven,” Gore said last week.
Gore originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2019. Over the next two years he was released and signed by the Chargers multiple times. The Washington Football team also signed and released Gore.
“I kinda hit reality like, you know, everybody doesn’t really get a chance to do this. You’ve gotta take advantage of every opportunity you get,” Gore said.
At one point Gore said he returned home and worked with his father at his funeral home.
Then in 2021, he ended up at Chiefs training camp and signed with the team. Gore made an impression on head coach Andy Reid, and the 26-year-old was called upon when running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire suffered a knee injury against the Buffalo Bills and was placed on injured reserve.
Gore said he knew he it was his chance. He was finally going to play in a regular season NFL game, but what happened on the field even surprised him.
“I knew I was gonna get a couple carries, but once I kinda looked to the sideline and see they were leaving me out there, I was like, man it’s time to roll,” Gore said.
Roll he did, eventually reaching the end zone and scoring the first touchdown of his NFL career.
“Meant a lot honestly,” Gore said. “I really can’t even put into words. Just, you know, filled with emotions. Knowing my background and where I came from, how long it took me to get to this point. I’m very thankful for the opportunity that I got.”
Gore’s mom and his grandparents were in the stadium to watch his dream become reality.
“They were really excited. I think my mom dropped a few tears. She’s known how long it took me to get here, but uh, they were happy,” Gore said.
Happy because Gore said they all knew just how much work he’d put in to get there. Gore said quarterback Patrick Mahomes made sure he kept the football he carried into the end zone as a keepsake of that moment.
“It’s in my locker right now. I kinda dropped it off and Patrick handed it to me and I was thankful for that,” Gore said.
Gore said he will be ready to go again on Sunday afternoon against the Green Bay Packers. The game is at Arrowhead with kickoff at 3:25 p.m. You can watch the game on FOX4.