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.
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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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