49ers player notes
RB Frank Gore: The second-year tailback was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week on Wednesday for the second time this season. Gore recorded his fifth 100-yard game this season and third in four weeks while rushing for a franchise-record 212 yards on 24 carries in the 49ers' 20-14 victory over Seattle. The total pushed Gore over 1,000 yards rushing this season and he now ranks second in the NFL with 1,043 yards, just two behind league leader Larry Johnson of Kansas City. Gore's 5.5 average per carry is the best among the league's top 38 running backs and trails only Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick (8.5 average) among the league leaders. Gore is the 49ers' first 1000-yard rusher since RB Kevan Barlow had 1,024 in 2003, and he is now on pace to finish the season with 1,669 yards, which would be the highest total in franchise history, breaking Garrison Hearst's 1998 team record of 1,570. Gore had four rushes of over 20 yards against the Seahawks including runs of 51, 50, 23 and 20 yards. Gore also was named the NFC's top offensive player after rushing for 134 yards in the 49ers' Week 5 victory over Oakland. Gore is the first 49ers player to be named Offensive Player of the Week two times in a season since WR Jerry Rice in 1994. Gore also had four receptions for 26 yards against the Seahawks and continues to lead the team in receiving with 37 catches. WR Arnaz Battle: The fourth-year receiver originally broke a bone in his left hand in the Detroit game two weeks ago. Despite practicing all week and playing in the Seattle game, Battle had two screws placed in his hand to repair the break on Monday. He did not practice Wednesday but is expected to play on Sunday. Battle is probable on the injury report. Battle had a team-high five receptions for 47 yards and reeled in his third touchdown reception of the season against Seattle. He now leads all San Francisco wideouts with 35 receptions and three touchdown catches. CB Walt Harris: The 11th-year pro leads the NFC and is tied for the NFL lead with a career-high six interceptions, two of which he recorded Sunday against the Seahawks for his second multiple-interception game of the season. He had three picks in Week 5 against the Raiders. Harris' previous high in interceptions was five, which he recorded in 1997, his second season in the league. Harris, who now has 26 career interceptions, also leads the team with seven passes defensed and three forced fumbles and has one sack and one fumble recovery. He's tied for sixth on the team with 44 tackles. OT Kwame Harris: The fourth-year veteran continues to hold onto the starting job at right tackle, and he had a strong game last week against the Seahawks. "Kwame is a very good run blocker, and he did a nice job (against Seattle)," 49ers coach Mike Nolan said. "He did a very good job. He's a good pass protector, but at times, he's the one who gets identified on certain plays. Kwame did play well." OT Adam Snyder: The team's top backup at both tackle positions still is putting the heat on Harris for the starting berth at right tackle, but he played only handful of plays against the Seahawks while nursing a thigh injury that has been bothering him. "Going into the game, it was the decision to minimize his plays," Nolan said. "He had 10 plays (against the Seahawks), but it was intentional going into the game to minimize him. If something had happened along the line, he was the one that goes in, and he wasn't full-go. So he went in for 10, and it was bothering him, so we backed him out. Nothing has changed in that situation with Adam and Kwame, or on the offensive line." WR Antonio Bryant: The fifth-year veteran was arrested Sunday night after being pulled over in his Lamborghini going more than 100 mph. He was held on charges of reckless driving, driving under the influence and resisting arrest, according to San Mateo, Calif., police. Officers were forced to use leather restraints to put Bryant in a seated position after he became combative and verbally abusive. He was booked into San Mateo County jail Monday, and Bryant declined to comment about the incident on Wednesday. Bryant continues to lead the team with 564 receiving yards. Bryant has also had three long-gainers nullified this season by penalties. He has had a 52-yard touchdown, as well as receptions of 49 and 43 yards wiped out this season. SS Tony Parrish:The ninth-year veteran was inactive for the first time in his career last week against the Seahawks after seeing his playing time continue to diminish over the past month. "To put our best 45 on the field for that game," was Nolan's reasoning for keeping his former starter inactive. "Typically, we have nine defensive backs up for the game and I felt we only needed eight. The reason the ninth is up is because Tony gives us a special teams presence. I thought the presence of Vernon Davis was more important because he's the last guy I put up. In order to put Vernon up, we had to make that switch." QB Alex Smith: The second-year pro continued his steady play with a solid performance in the victory over the Seahawks. Smith completed 19 of 25 passes for 163 yards without an interception and recorded a passer rating of 105.9, the second best of his career. Smith now ranks 15th in the league with a passer rating of 82.7. He has 10 touchdown passes and seven interceptions. He has been sacked 22 times this season, compared to 29 times last season in 109 fewer passing attempts. QB Trent Dilfer: The veteran backup behind Smith, Dilfer has not played a snap this season, but he continues to fill a big role for the 49ers behind the scenes. Nolan said he did not think the 49ers would suffer much if Dilfer had to step in to replace Smith, but he wants Smith to take every snap possible at this stage of his development. LB T.J. Slaughter: The seventh-year veteran has been placed on injured reserve after tearing a tendon on his left ring finger during the Seattle game. He will undergo surgery to repair the injury. Slaughter had established himself as one of San Francisco's top players on special teams with 12 tackles on those units, and he also was beginning to see more time in defensive sub-packages. Slaughter finished the season with eight tackles on defense. LB Hannibal Navies: The seventh-year veteran was signed Tuesday to replace Slaughter on the roster. Navies (6-foot-3, 252 pounds) is a native of Berkeley, just across the San Francisco Bay from the 49ers' home stadium. He spent four seasons with Carolina (1999-2002), two seasons with Green Bay (2003-2004) and one season in Cincinnati (2005). He went to training camp with the Bengals this past summer but was waived prior to the start of the regular season. Originally a fourth-round draft pick by Carolina out of Colorado in 1999, Navies has played in 85 games with 46 starts and has recorded 201 total tackles, 3.5 sacks and one interception. RB Maurice Hicks: The team's second-string running back entered the game late to try to help the 49ers run out the game against the Seahawks. Hicks had five carries for 17 yards. For the season, Hicks has 44 yards on 16 carries. He also has 13 receptions for 137 yards leads the team with a 24.5 average on 33 kickoff returns, though rookie Brandon Williams has taken over that role in recent weeks. RB Michael Robinson: The rookie rushed twice for 10 yards against the Seahawks. For the season, he has gained 77 yards on 35 carries, including two 1-yard touchdown plunges. Robinson has turned into a good special-teams contributor. He had two tackles against the Seahawks and now has 10 for the season. FB Moran Norris: The sixth-year veteran enjoyed a fantastic game against Seattle as a lead-blocker for Frank Gore. Norris caught one pass for 2 yards in the game. He has four receptions for 4 yards on the season, including one for a touchdown. WR Bryan Gilmore: The team's No. 3 receiver has caught only one pass in the past four games. He had a 10-yard run on an end-around against the Seahawks and has four carries for 63 yards rushing on reverses this season. Gilmore ranks sixth on the team with seven receptions for 136 yards and also has contributed five tackles on special teams. TE Vernon Davis: The team's top 2006 draft pick returned to action against the Seahawks, playing five snaps, and said Wednesday that he now is ready to return to full duty. He did not see a pass come his way against Seattle, as four of the plays on which he saw action were runs. Davis is returning to action after sustaining a broken right fibula on Sept. 24. Davis has five catches for 37 yards this season, all of which came in the season opener at the Cardinals. TE Eric Johnson: The sixth-year veteran has played almost every snap since taking over in place of injured Vernon Davis. Johnson ranks fourth on the team with 29 catches for 265 yards. His playing time will probably see a dip after Davis works his way back into the mix, which is expected to happen this week against the St. Louis Rams. LG Larry Allen: The 10-time Pro Bowler had a dominating game Sunday against the Seahawks, helping pave the way for Frank Gore's 212 rushing yards. Allen is not as steady in the passing game, as he surrendered a sack, but his run-blocking skills remain at top level. K Joe Nedney: The ninth-year veteran saw his streak of 62 consecutive made field goals from inside 30 yards come to an end against the Seahawks when he hooked a 27-yard attempt badly in the final minute of the game. He also had a 30-yard attempt blocked against the Seahawks. For the season, Nedney has made 18 of 24 field-goal attempts. CB Shawntae Spencer: The team's regular right cornerback did not play in the fourth quarter against Seattle due to a right ankle sprain, and he did not practice Wednesday because of the injury. His status for Sunday's game against the Rams is uncertain, and he‘s currently listed as questionable to play. . The team said on Monday that he would probably be listed as questionable. Spencer is third on the team with 58 tackles and second with six passes defensed. He also has one sack that resulted in a forced fumble. LB Jeff Ulbrich: The seventh-year veteran has ligament damage in his right thumb and will undergo surgery next week to repair the injury. He is not expected to miss any time before or after the surgery. He practiced Wednesday and is listed as probable to play against the Rams. Ulbrich, who lost his starting job at inside linebacker to Brandon Moore in Week 9, is tied for sixth on the team with 44 tackles.
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