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.