Gore’s injury ‘not believed to be serious’

Running back Frank Gore nursed a right ankle injury last week, taking part in limited practice. On the first play on which he touched the ball, Gore came up hobbling.


But 49ers coach Mike Singletary says the injury sustained early in the game Sunday against the Vikings is not related to Gore’s pre-existing condition. We’re trying to get official word from the 49ers’ medical staff.


Gore sustained an ankle sprain against the Seahawks. (A sprain is an injury to a ligament). The injury Gore sustained Sunday was described as an ankle strain. (A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon).


It should be noted that the only other recent “ankle strain” by a 49ers player was Patrick Willis’ injury, which he sustained Aug. 3 during a “nutcracker drill.” He missed two weeks of training camp with an injury that was later revealed to be a strain of the Achilles tendon.


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UPDATE: The 49ers say Willis misspoke when he said it was an Achilles strain. It was a peroneal strain, which is a tendon near the Achilles. An Achilles strain would be a much more serious injury.

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Gore is scheduled to have an MRI examination later today.


“It is not believed to be serious,” Singletary said.


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Left tackle Joe Staley (right knee contusion) will be getting an MRI today, too. Staley said the injury was sustained on a leg whip.


The remainder of the injury report is: linebacker Takeo Spikes (left leg contusion); safety Reggie Smith (right groin pull); linebacker Jeff Ulbrich (right quadriceps contusion); cornerback Dre’ Bly (right toe contusion); guard David Baas (left ankle sprain); tackle Adam Snyder (left thumb sprain).


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When Singletary was asked about Jimmy Raye’s play-calling in the fourth quarter, he did not second-guess the calls but vowed to learn from what occurred.


“The bottom line he called the things that he called yesterday because they made sense,” Singletary said. “Obviously, every decision when it doesn’t work, all of a sudden it doesn’t make sense. Why would you do that? I know that’s your job. Just understand that you call plays because you believe they’ll work.


“We did it and it did not work. We got to go back to the board and do something else.”


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Singletary clearly was not pleased with the officiating, most notably the taunting penalty on Shawntae Spencer that kept a Vikings drive alive in the second quarter. The 49ers appeared to stop the Vikings on a third-and-10 from the Minnesota 45. But Spencer’s taunt, which appeared to be on the tame side, drew a penalty that superseded the Vikings’ penalty for illegal formation.


When asked if Singletary supported Spencer, he answered, “Absolutely.”


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Singletary said the 49ers were not in a prevent defense for the final play. Generally, a prevent defense consists of a three-man pass rush and eight defenders in coverage. The 49ers rushed the standard four men on Favre’s game-winning toss to Greg Lewis.


Singletary said he did not fault safety Mark Roman, who was the closest man to Lewis in the 49ers’ four-across zone coverage. But, Singletary said, “If he was in good position, he would’ve made the play. So, no, he was not in great position. But the thing is, they just made a football play. There are some times the quarterback throws the ball and the guy’s in position to make a play. That’s what happened.”


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And, finally, Singletary said the 49ers are simply not good enough to take any team lightly — even the lowly St. Louis Rams, who come to town with a 0-3 record.


“One of the big things we’re always talking about is respect,” Singletary said. “We’re not good enough to look at St. Louis or any other team and say, ‘Wow, we’re going to have a tough time getting ready for those guys.’ We have a destination we’re trying to get to. It’s about us. It’s not about them. We have to stay focused on the goal at hand. And if we don’t stay focused, then we’re not who we say we are.”


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