Running back Frank Gore still holds out hope that he can play Sunday when the 49ers go to his hometown of Miami to face the Dolphins.
The truth is that it still doesn’t look good. He is not going to practice today, but at least he is off crutches. He had crutches Monday and Tuesday. He tossed the crutches aside Wednesday.
“I feel better every day,” Gore said. He is still walking gingerly, though. Gore said his ankle sprain is similar to the one that kept him out of last year’s game at Atlanta. The 49ers training staff is treating Gore’s left ankle sprain with ice, massaging and stretching, Gore said.
“If I can’t cut, I won’t be able to go,” Gore said. He said he needs to be able to protect himself from avoiding big hits.
“I’ll see how it feels on Sunday.”
* * *
When the 49ers break the huddle, they expect Dolphins outside linebacker Joey Porter to line up away from tight end Vernon Davis. Coach Mike Singletary said “98 percent of the time” Porter goes to the side of the formation that does not have the tight end.
But don’t think that Davis and Porter, who leads the NFL with 16.5 sacks, will not square off from time to time on Sunday. The 49ers can motion Davis to Porter’s side to dictate that matchup.
And it should be an interesting matchup whenever it happens. After all, Singletary this week called Davis the best-blocking tight end he has ever seen.
Most of the time when you think about putting a tight end on the league’s sack leader, the word “mismatch” comes to mind. But, obviously, Davis believes he’ll be able to hold his own against Porter.
“No, I don’t feel that way,” Davis said of a mismatch. “I’ve gone up against the best. I’m pretty sure I’ve gone up against a lot of linebackers-slash-D ends who were better than him and I’ve pretty much won every battle. . . . I’m pretty sure he’s a competitive guy, as well.”
Porter is known for trash-talking on the field. Davis has been the target of a lot of talking this season, especially after Seahawks safety Brian Russell goaded him into a penalty — prompting Singletary to bench him and banish him to the locker room.
That episode has given trash-talkers more material to use against Davis, he said. He said one line he’s heard from the opposition is, “I’m going to tell Singletary to tell you to go to the locker room.”
As far as allowing himself to lose control of his emotions during a game, Davis said, “I learned from that. I won’t let it happen to me ever again.”
* * *