San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore reportedly suffered an ankle injury during the team's 13-8 vctory over the Cincinnati Bengals and his status is now questionable for week four against the Philadelphia Eagles. Gore battled through the ankle injury for much of the second half and eventually gave way to rookie Kendall Hunter for a sizable chunk of the fourth quarter. Gore finished the game with 17 rushes for 42 yards, while Hunter finished with nine rushes for 26 yards, a touchdown, and two receptions for twelve yards.
Gore has gotten off to a slow start in 2011 and has fantasy owners wondering what exactly is going on with him. Through three games he has rushed 42 times for 106 yards and one touchdown. His longest run is a 16-yard scamper, but otherwise he has been held in check. Possible reasons range from the idea that he is losing a step to the poor performance of the offensive line. Whatever the case, it is not pretty for Gore right now.
Kendall Hunter has emerged as Gore's primary backup, and if he is available in your league, I would recommend trying to grab him as your handcuff to Gore, or simply to have a guy with upside if you don't have Gore. Given Gore's history, there is an excellent chance Hunter starts a game before the end of the 2011 season and it could very well come this Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
We'll have more on this injury as the 49ers prepare for their week four contest with the Eagles.