San Francisco 49ers

January 22, 2012 by staff 

San Francisco 49ers, All those yards. All those tackles. All those nagging pains. All will be worth it for Frank Gore if the 49ers win Sunday’s NFC Championship game and advance to Super Bowl XLVI.

“One away from where everyone dreams of playing,” Gore said last week. If anyone exemplifies the 49ers’ surprising status, it’s Gore, a team captain for the first time in his seven-year, against-all-odds career.

Third-round draft picks with surgically repaired knees aren’t expected to blossom into their franchise’s all-time leading NFL rusher. The 49ers, under a first-year coach and after an offseason labor lockout, weren’t figured to go 13-3 in the regular season and host the NFC final, which they’ll do against the New York Giants.

Gore has been there every step of the way. Well, almost every step. He’s played every game this season despite ankle and knee injuries. A year ago at this time, he was recovering from a hip fracture.

“It’s all right,” Gore said of his health. “My coaches do a great job of putting me in good situations, better than the past. I feel good right now.

“It’s a blessing to be in the situation we are as a team, especially looking back in my past. You look at how everyone is surprised and can’t believe this team, where we’re at now. But we always knew what we had in this locker room, now that we’ve got coach (Jim) Harbaugh and his coaching staff leading us the right way.”

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