The San Francisco 49ers had no problems taking care of the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football but the victory came at a price -- RB Frank Gore is out for the year with a hip injury. For a 49ers team that still has playoff hopes in the NFC West, it's a significant blow.
What cushions the blow (slightly) is that RB Brian Westbrook stepped in and racked up 136 yards on the ground on his way to a nomination for the FedEx Ground Player Of The Week. SB Nation's Niners Nation says, while Westbrook's emergence is nice, the Gore news still hurts.
So Brian Westbrook's affirmation that yes, he can still play is no longer a definite plus, but more of a silver lining. It's nice to know he can still work in between the tackles, it's great to see him fighting and diving for every yard, and definitely a plus to see him picking up the occasional blitz. I don't think, however, that any of us will claim we're better off with Westbrook as a full-time starter than we would be with Frank Gore as a full-time starter.
Believe it or not, the 49ers at 4-7 are just one game out of the division lead. Clearly, they still have reasons to play this year so that's why this news hurts so bad. If the 49ers were in any other division except the NFC West, their season would be over right now. But, the NFC West is the NFL's worst division and the 49ers are still in the playoff hunt.
Gore's injury hurts 49ers fans and fantasy football owners gearing up for the playoff run. Check out Niners Nation to see how 49ers fans are reacting to the Frank Gore injury.