Frank Gore is not alone any more. With Kendall Hunter and Brandon Jacobs backing him up, Gore can stay fresh the entire year and keep defenses on their heals.
Kendall Hunter had a solid game against the Lions Sunday Night, tallying 43 total yards as the team's backup. He also got a resounding endorsement from offensive coordinator Greg Roman via CSN Bay Area:
He’s really starting to understand all the different things that go into playing running back in this league," Roman said. "Which is more than carrying the ball. It’s pass-protection, route-running, catching the ball, ball security and the special teams aspect of things as well.
Jacobs didn't play due to a knee injury, but received good news from an MRI and could be back on the field soon, according to the Mercury News.
All this is huge news for Gore and the 49ers. If Hunter proves to be a reliable threat and Jacobs continues to run defenders over like he usually does, the 49ers can rest Gore in certain scenarios, keeping wear-and-tear in check.
With Hunter and Jacobs as backups (maybe throw in LaMichael James later in the season as well), defenses will have trouble preparing for this brutal and versatile running attack. Gore will also keep his carries below 20 per game, ensuring he has his health come January.