Breathe easily, fantasy football nuts. Frank Gore was back at practice today after sitting out Wednesday's session. Gore was limping noticeably early in the week but today it was characterized (by me) as "general running back soreness" and Mike Nolan agreed with the assessment. Said Nolan: "Obviously, he takes a lot of hits and he takes a lot of reps in the game." Nolan said giving Gore a break allows his backups, DeShaun Foster and Michael Robinson, to see more practice time. The thinking is that Foster and Robinson will have to be called upon to spell Gore at times as the season goes forward.
Walt Harris also practiced after getting an old man's day off Wednesday. In all seriousness, Harris was excellent during the preseason and initiated the play of the game -- Patrick Willis' 86-yard touchdown return -- against the Seahawks. In other words, the rest he is afforded does not go to waste.
Both Donald Strickland and Dashon Goldson also practiced. As for Shawntae Spencer, he said his knee injury is a result of his foot getting caught in the Qwest Field surface Sunday. He said Seattle receiver Logan Payne's knee injury, a torn ligament, was similar in that Payne's foot was caught up in the surface and he was being hit by Goldson. Spencer said that there seemed to be far more rubber shavings on the field -- what gives the FieldTurf its buoyancy -- than he recalled.
-- Matt Barrows