It is amazing what a month of down time recovering from an injury can do. 49ers running back Frank Gore, just recovered from a broken hand, will undoubtedly have “fresh legs” going into Monday’s season opener against the Arizona Cardinals. From all accounts, he has appeared especially explosive on the carries he had during the “non-pad” practice that took place on Monday.
That could be due to a combination of him conditioning himself for football while injured and not having the contact that’s typical during regular training camp. As far as where Gore is football-wise, he stated to John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle, “I feel good. Coaches were working me out, keeping me in shape with explosive drills. He also added, “I feel once I get out there, the more I’m in, the better I am. The more touches I get, the better I am. I’ll be all right.” Gore at the moment is wearing a protective pad on his recently healed hand in practice and will use it for the game against the Cardinals.
Last year, Gore rushed for 1,695 yards and also made the Pro Bowl. His stated goal for this year is 2,000 rushing yards, which may or may not be realistic or attainable. And you know that the 49ers are tickled pink that he has returned fully conditioned, rested, and ready for the 2007 football campaign. Gore is the heart and soul of the 49ers, and his contributions against the Cardinals will be needed badly.