Frank Gore has been on a roll, rushing for 100 yards or more in five straight games.
But is the toll of all those carries and contact starting to wear him down?
In Sunday’s game against the Redskins, Gore suffered a left ankle sprain in the second quarter. As the game wore on, rookie Kendall Hunter got more playing time. After the game, reporter Matt Maiocco noted that Gore needed assistance to step down from a riser where he was addressing the media.
Earlier this season, Gore sprained his right ankle in a victory over Cincinnati, but played the next week against Philadelphia, rushing for 127 yards.
With the 7-1 49ers getting ready to play the New York Giants Sunday at Candlestick Park, will Gore be able to go?
Monday, after X-rays of Gore’s ankle revealed no significant damage, both Gore and head coach Jim Harbaugh said the league’s third-leading rusher should be OK to play.
“I’ll be all right,” Gore told reporters. “I’m cool. Just checking up some things on my body. Yeah, I’ll be all right.”
Said Harbaugh: “X-rays were good and Frank was feeling good. He’s feeling like Frank.”
Harbaugh added that several of his players were banged up in Sunday’s victory.
“That was a tough, physical game for everybody,” he said.
Gore is averaging 4.9 yards per carry this season, rushing for 782 total yards and five TDs.
Hunter, who carried eight times for 25 yards Sunday, is averaging 4.5 yards (217 yards on 48 attempts) with one TD.