Some 49ers news tidbits as reported by John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle:
- Along with a victory, Frank Gore would love to gain 58 yards rushing Sunday against the Detroit Lions at Candlestick Park. That would give him 1,000 yards for a fourth straight season.
No other running back in franchise history has rushed for 1,000 in four seasons, let alone four consecutive.
It’s been a strange season for Gore, who saw a steady stream of eight-man defensive fronts early in the season, missed most of three games with an ankle injury, and then found himself as a single back in a spread offense.
“It’s been tough,” he said. “I missed three games, but I kept fighting. If I look back on the season, I think I’ll be happy.”
Gore will have little or no backup help Sunday. Rookie Glen Coffee is listed as doubtful with a quadriceps injury but won’t play, according to Singletary, leaving Michael Robinson and fullback Moran Norris as the only other ball carriers.
Talking about Gore reaching 1,000 yards, coach Mike Singletary said, “That would be nice. I’m sure Frank would like that as well.”
- Though the Lions are 2-12 and hardly inspire fear in an opposing defense, they do have the biggest wide receiver in the league in Calvin Johnson, an imposing specimen at 6-foot-5 and 239 pounds.
In his third season, Johnson leads the Lions with 54 receptions for 802 yards and four touchdowns.
“We have to make sure that we’re taking care of the deep balls and his ability to go up and get the ball,” 49ers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said.
The Lions’ other starting wide receiver is Bryant Johnson, who was with the 49ers in 2008. He has 29 catches for 357 yards and two touchdowns.
- The 49ers had hoped to be a top 10 defense in 2009, but that probably will not be the case. They are 19th in the league in total defense – fifth against the run and 28th against the pass – but are tied for eighth fewest points allowed.
“We want to keep bumping up our stats,” Manusky said. “It’d be good to get some of those numbers to where we want them to be.”
- After missing all but one play of seven consecutive games with a sprained right knee, Joe Staley returned to his left tackle position against Philadelphia and played what Raye called a “serviceable” game.
“Other than quarterback, that is the most difficult position to play,” the coordinator said. “It takes a tremendous amount of skill and time. I thought he played well.”
- Wide receiver Isaac Bruce, who won’t play, is listed as doubtful. Cornerback Shawntae Spencer (ankle) and linebacker Takeo Spikes (hamstring) are probable.