Frank Gore strategy

Frank Gore was nearly on the ground when Jason Pierre-Paul, the New York Giants' 278-pound defensive end, rocked the San Francisco 49ers' running back with a clean, tough hit.

It was the sort of hit that is tough to anticipate, increasing vulnerability to injury. Gore got up, quickly located his backup on the sideline and signaled for Kendall Hunter to replace him.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says Gore's knee injury does not appear to be serious. Barrows: "Gore was seen moving around Monday without a limp, and Jim Harbaugh said he thought the running back would be able to play Sunday against the Cardinals. Gore entered Sunday's game against the Giants with a sprained left ankle, then appeared to injure his right knee after a hard tackle by defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul in the second quarter." Noted: Do the 49ers absolutely need Gore to win at home against the Cardinals? They might. No victories are gimmes. Still, if the 49ers can get away with significantly scaling back Gore's work or holding him out of the game entirely, that could serve them well for the remainder of the season. Gore lasted 11 games in 2010 before suffering a season-ending injury.

Matt Maiocco of says Gore told him he felt fine.

Also from Maiocco: Harbaugh says multiple 49ers assistants project as head coaching candidates. Noted: Harbaugh is making a concerted effort to promote selflessness among the 49ers. He regularly gives all credit to players. Players regularly deflect praise. Winning makes everyone happy.

Scott Kacsmar of Cold, Hard Football Facts breaks down the 49ers' victory over the Giants. Thanks for passing along, Scott.

Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News says Alex Smith played Sunday with confidence he had not shown previously.

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle quotes Harbaugh as saying there was nothing lucky about the play Justin Smith made to preserve the victory Sunday.

Click here to order Frank Gore’s proCane Rookie Card.

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