Blog Entry

Harbaugh: Frank Gore is 'not 100 percent'

Posted on: December 13, 2011 8:00 pm
By Will Brinson

Sunday, the 49ers suffered a surprising 21-19 loss to Arizona, and thought it doesn't affect San Francisco's standing in the division, there's a good reason for concern, since running back Frank Gore was limited late in the game.

Gore carried the ball just 10 times Sunday, and only twice after a 37-yard touchdown run put the Niners up 19-7 in the third quarter. On Tuesday, Harbaugh admitted, per our 49ers Rapid Reporter Michael Erier, that not all was right with Gore.

"He’s got some things," Harbaugh said on Tuesday after practice. "He’s not 100 percent."

The good news for the 49ers is that they've already locked up a playoff berth, so Gore will have an opportunity to rest over the next three weeks or so.

The bad news is they still want to try and lock down the No. 2 seed, and if Kendall Hunter only produces a 2.5 yards-per-carry average like he did on Sunday against the Cardinals, winning games down the stretch is going to be tough.

Week 14 Recap

Unlike many of the other top-tier teams in the NFL, the 49ers don't depend solely on their quarterback for success. That's a blessing sometimes, but when the health of the running back is an absolute necessity it can be problematic.

And though Harbaugh didn't say what's bothering Gore, a quick glance at his game log makes it pretty obvious when he started dealing with an injury. After getting white hot during the middle of the season, Gore suffered an ankle injury against the Giants and left with zero yards on six carries.

In the four games since, Gore hasn't crossed the 100-yard mark and only crossed into the end zone once. Given his ineffectiveness, the 49ers standing in the playoff race, his injury and how critical he is to the offense, it's somewhat surprising the team didn't start giving him more rest sooner.

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Since: Jan 19, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2011 10:33 am

Harbaugh: Frank Gore is 'not 100 percent'

I agree that Gore needs his rest... but the #2 seed and first round bye is huge!!! 
You can't just assume if Gore plays he will bring the same level of production you always get from him when healthy.

A hurt RB may only be half as productive as usual. On top of that, you risk losing him for much longer if the injury is compounded.

Since: Oct 26, 2009
Posted on: December 14, 2011 8:05 pm

Frank Gore isn't the Niners only problem...

Yeah Frank Gore might be suffering from some sort of leg injury but his injury isn't the Niners' only problem.  The Niners' offensive line was exposed during the Ravens game and they got beat down again against the Cardinals.  The offensive line needs to play better or it won't matter who is running the ball; there won't be any lanes for backs to get through.  Not mention the fact that Smith won't be able to get back and throw.  I think all Niner fans know that Alex Smith is not the best QB under pressure.  The even bigger problem that persists with the Niners is their inability to finish drives once inside the redzone.  It makes my stomach turn to watch them drive down the field with ease only to get inside the 20 yard line, stall and then kick field goals.  The Niners are dead last in scoring TDs once inside the redzone, scoring a TD only 35.5% of the time once they reach the redzone.  ()  I think the Niners have made huge improvements on offense and Alex Smith is playing his best ball of his career but their redzone efficiency will be the end of them if they have to play the Saints or Green Bay.  Back to the matter at hand...if Gore is truly injured this Sunday's game will hold great significance on how to treat Gore moving forward.  Should the Niners lose Sunday they should go ahead and rest Gore for the last two weeks because we can almost count on the Saints winning out and finishing with the #2 seed.  Should the Niner's win, they need to play for the #2 seed and Gore can get his rest in the bye week.  In the mean time, get better in the REDZONE fellas!!!

Since: Dec 12, 2011
Posted on: December 14, 2011 2:49 pm

Harbaugh: Frank Gore is 'not 100 percent'

He seemed OK in his 30+ yard TD run. If you can't point to a certain spot on the body an say ;This Hurts. Then the Part of the body he is not 100% at is his head. Maybe he suffers from Red Zoneitis- depression caused when your offensive coordinator can't deliver plays that will get a team into the End Zone.

Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: December 14, 2011 1:04 pm

Harbaugh: Frank Gore is 'not 100 percent'

I agree that Gore needs his rest... but the #2 seed and first round bye is huge!!! One week off and home game in second round for playoffs is key if the Niners want to make a run in the playoffs.  Cut down Gore's reps when possible and keep getting those wins!!

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: December 14, 2011 11:27 am

Harbaugh: Frank Gore is 'not 100 percent'

If Frank Gore is not healthy the best thing the 49ers can do is sit him until the playoffs start. How far will they go in the playoffs without him? At least sit him down for the last two games. If they feel they need to risk it against the Steelers I can understand that, but they should be able to handle the Seahawks and the Rams without him. If rest is what the guy needs by all means give it to him before the playoffs start. 13-3 or 12-4 means nothing if you lose your first playoff game. The goal is a Super Bowl not a great record.

Since: Aug 17, 2007
Posted on: December 13, 2011 8:30 pm

Harbaugh: Frank Gore is 'not 100 percent'

I didn't think he was! He won't be until the seasons over and he's had the chance to rest!

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