49ers

Gore to practice Thursday

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Gore to practice Thursday

SANTA CLARA -- Running back Frank Gore said he will practice Thursday and missed Wednesdays practice not because of what he calls a hyper-extended knee, but to get some midseason rest. Gore insists hes fine, and could have played the second half against the Giants if needed.

I couldnt really push off like I wanted to, Gore said before Thursdays afternoon practice. So I just wanted to be smart. Coach (Tom) Rathman wanted me to be smart knowing we got a long season ahead and we can be successful, and I want to be there.

The chance of Gore injuring himself further against New York was higher than usual. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said the Giants took extreme measures to ensure Gore didnt achieve his sixth straight game of 100 yards rushing.

It was definitely something they stressed, Roman said. It was pretty much a numbers situation. Extremely loaded boxes. I mean, you gotta go to some high school fields to find that loaded of a box.

Gore was held to zero yards rushing on six attempts in the first half. He says he hit the ground awkwardly in the second quarter, causing the knee sprain. When asked if had had ever seen an approach to stop him like what the Giants did Gore responded, laughing, my whole career.

Nah, not like that, man. It was 10 men in the box, Gore said. Like I said, they were coming to stop the run. But we got it done, though.

Experience has taught Gore to prepare for extra attention the more success the 49ers have in the run game. That also means after the whistle blows -- Gore said he has been the target of a few cheap shots from the bottom of the pile as defenses grow frustrated.

Its been tough, man, its been tough, Gore said. I guess they try to get me out some way. But Im healthy, Im feeling good, and Ill be fine. Its tough, though. Its tough.

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

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AP

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

I hadn’t considered the notion of Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles bombing quite so badly Thursday night, so I hadn’t considered the notion advanced by Pro Football Talk Friday morning that Jacksonville might be a great place for Colin Kaepernick.

That’s because I long ago stopped considering the idea that Kaepernick’s exile from football was, or is, about football. It isn’t. He is the example for future player/miscreants, and trotting his name out every time a quarterback in the new NFL vomits up a practice game on national television is simply perpetuating a lie.

Until someone gets so desperate that it isn’t any more.

That’s the problem with being so definitive about Kaepernick’s perpetual ban. It only takes one owner with a willingness to stick a middle finger up to the objections and say, “I own a football team, not some branch of the USO” to end this national spitfest once and for all. And yes, I say owner because this is an owner’s decision, solely and completely. In the hypothetical of Kaepernick the Jaguar, it will be made not by Doug Marrone, who is merely a coach, or by Tom Coughlin, who is only the general manager, but Shahid Khad, one of the brightest and quietly more powerful owners in the league.

But the odds still scream No Kaep For You, because it would mean that exhibition games matter for judgmental purposes (which they don’t), that Bortles is somehow worse than half the quarterbacks in the NFL (he is part of an amorphous blob of non-producers whose numbers are growing as the differences between college and pro football offenses expand), and that owners easily break away from the herd once the herd has decided on something (Khan is not a rebel in the Jerry Jones mold by any means).

In other words, I remain unconvinced that there is a place for Colin Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL. And he’s probably better off.

Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers

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AP

Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers

One week after center Jeremy Zuttah played his way off the 49ers’ roster in short order, he ended up back with the team that got rid of him to open the offseason.

The Baltimore Ravens on Friday announced the signing of Zuttah, whom the 49ers released on Aug. 9 after acquiring him from the Ravens in a March trade.

The 49ers determined center Daniel Kilgore was clearly better than Zuttah. Moreover, Zuttah he did not demonstrate any promise of being an asset at either of the guard positions.

Zuttah, 31, played the past three seasons with the Ravens after six seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Zuttah was named to his first Pro Bowl after last season.

The 49ers originally acquired Zuttah in a swap of sixth-round draft picks. The Ravens received the 49ers’ pick at No. 186 and selected Virginia Tech safety Chuck Clark. The 49ers took over Baltimore’s selection at No. 198 and chose Mississippi defensive tackle D.J. Jones.

The 49ers are confident in Kilgore and offensive tackles Joe Staley and Trent Brown. However, there is concern at the guard positions.

Brandon Fusco appears to be earning the confidence of the coaching staff at right guard. But left guard remains a concern. Zane Beadles is currently the starter while Joshua Garnett rehabs from arthroscopic knee surgery to repair cartilage. The 49ers are hopeful Garnett will be available for the opening of the regular season.