Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle (click here for the article) published the following quote:
“I would plan on (Gore) playing, but you just feel like right now that we’ve got a stable of backs,” Harbaugh said. “We’ve got Frank Gore. We’ve got Kendall Hunter. We’ve got fresh legs in Anthony Dixon. This bodes really well for our football team.”
The Professor’s Take:
That’s not a very promising quote for Gore owners. Last week Gore was limited to just six carries going for 0 yards (his longest run was for three yards) against the New York Giants. Hunter also had six carries but took them for 40 yards and a touchdown.
With the 49ers running away with the division (already holding a five game lead), they have no real reason to push Gore and risk further injury. Their primary goal needs to be getting healthy and prepared for a run deep into the playoffs. That just further adds to the speculation that, at worst, Hunter and Gore will split carries. At this point the chance of Gore being the featured back appears to be minimal, especially with a Thursday game in Week 12.
This week the 49ers face the Arizona Cardinals who are allowing 123.1 rushing yards per game. Additionally they have allowed 12 rushing TD, tied for the league lead. If Gore were healthy he’d be a slam dunk RB1. At this point, however, that no longer appears to be the case.
I would say use him at your own risk, because there is no guarantee that he is on the field enough to make him viable (even if he plays there is always the risk of a setback forcing him off the field). Hunter, on the other hand, appears to be a solid waiver wire addition. You have to think that he is going to get at least 10-15 touches, which should give him ample opportunities to produce. If you are in need of a running back for this week only he is well worth targeting.
Make sure to check out the rest of our Week 11 articles: