I am neither a 49ers fan, nor particularly a fan of the University of Miami. But I have always been a big Frank Gore fan.
He has a great backstory, which I’ll get to a minute, and is the kind of athlete that you root for regardless of whether he’s on your team or not.
But right now, the big news about Frank Gore is that he is injured…again…and his fantasy owners will have to make alternate plans for the next couple of weeks.
Gore entered yesterday’s game against the Vikings already nursing a tender ankle. He attempted to play on it, ran the ball once, and had to limp off the field.
He would not return.
The latest injury update on Frank Gore is that he is suffering from a high ankle sprain and will most likely miss the next two weeks.
San Francisco has St. Louis and Atlanta on the schedule in Weeks 4 and 5. The 49ers have a bye in Week 6, at which point the 49ers hope to have their backfield stalwart back in the lineup.
In the meantime, Gore owners should gobble up Glen Coffee. The rookie out of Alabama made quite a splash in the pre-season and was an early darling of many fantasy prognosticators.
Don’t be turned off by his 25 carry, 54 yard performance this past Sunday in relief of Gore. San Fran was facing Minnesota’s vaunted run defense, against which even the best running backs look pedestrian.
Coffee should find the going much easier against St. Louis and Atlanta, the latter of which gave up over 100 yards and a score to the ancient Fred Taylor this past weekend.
But back to Gore.
Many people do not realize that had he not suffered two terrible knee injuries in college, America might never have been introduced to Willis McGahee. Gore was ahead of McGahee on the depth chart at The U, but never really got a chance to prove his worth at Miami.
In his senior season at Coral Gables High in Miami, where they play some damn good high school football, Gore rushed for—get this—2,900 yards and 11 TDs during his senior season. He was slated to start for the ‘Canes before knee injuries ruined his college career.
This article by Manny Navarro does a great job of telling Gore’s story. Here is an excerpt:
I couldn’t be happier for him. The truth is, aside from football, Gore has never really had much going for him. At Gables, he was classified with a learning disorder.
With his mother sick and the rest of his family dirt poor, he was basically their only hope of having a better life. When he went down with those two major knee injuries, I thought he was headed toward a sad story.
I didn’t think he’d be the same running back he was once appeared he was headed toward becoming at Gables. But now, he is the Frank of old again. And not only is his mother benefiting, so are his two children.
Let’s hope Gore’s ankle injury does not linger and that he’s back leading the 49ers’ offense soon. There is no team in the NFL, other than my Browns (ugh) and Dolphins (ugh), that I am rooting for more than the 49ers this season.
From scrappy QB Shaun Hill to inspirational coach Mike Singletary to Gore, the 49ers have a lot of guys to root for. Their 2-1 start has been one of the best stories of this young 2009 season.
I’ll update this post when I hear any further injury updates on Gore.
* – Frank Gore photo credit: Michael Maloney of the San Francisco Chronicle via SFGate.info