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49ers Vs. Steelers: Frank Gore Not 100%, Could His Status For Monday Night Football Be In Question?

On Sunday, against the Arizona Cardinals, running back Frank Gore carried the ball just ten times for over 70 yards. He had a per-carry average of 7.2 and though he seemed to start slow, he looked good. Do you see what's wrong with that first sentence? When you see a stat of 70+ yards and yet only ten carries, there's some red flags. The San Francisco 49ers found themselves in several short yardage situations in which it would have been ideal to use Gore, but instead elected to throw the ball, including the final drive when they passed on 3rd-and-1 and then 4th-and-1.

During his Monday press conference, head coach Jim Harbaugh was noncommittal when giving (non)reasons as to why Gore received so few carries. He did go on the note that Gore was "not 100%", but said he had no answer for the media regarding his playing time.

Could this affect his availability for Monday Night Football against the Pittsburgh Steelers? Gore certainly looked good when he got going, but if he's not up to 100%, given his injury history, it might be best to keep him out. Then again, we don't know if that really factored into the fact that he only carried the ball ten times. It's very possible that Harbaugh and his coaching staff were thrown off by the Cardinals, and got away from their game plan. Frustration can lead to losing track of things, including carries by your feature running back.

Either way, it will be interesting to see where Gore lands on the official injury report once it comes out.