49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

December 26, 2011
Gore: This year's 49ers squad doesn't flinch


A blocked punt late in the game that results in a go-ahead touchdown for the opposition? In previous years, that nightmare scenario would have sent the 49ers reeling and momentum snowballing for the other team. This year's squad, however, has remained calm when faced with adversity, according to running back Frank Gore.

"We just know we're a good team," Gore said. "We don't panic at all. When things don't go right, we all just get together and tell ourselves we've got to do this and settle down and just make plays. And we do."

That resolve has been one of the biggest differences between this year's squad and previous incarnations as comeback wins in Philadelphia, Detroit and now Seattle have shown.

Gore, meanwhile, appears to have a very good shot at the Pro Bowl especially with Bears tailback Matt Forte and Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson out with injuries. As many as a dozen 49ers have at least a chance of hearing their names called Tuesday when Pro Bowl rosters are announced at 4 p.m. (PST).

Return man Ted Ginn was walking in the locker room without a limp today and appears to have a chance to play in the finale. Ginn sprained his left ankle last week against the Steelers and missed Saturday's game against the Seahawks. He warmed up before the game but was noticeably gimpy when he tried to run. Ginn said the sprain was not the dreaded "high-ankle" variety that keeps players out of action for multiple weeks.

Ginn, however, said he would leave it up to trainers and coaches to decide whether he plays Sunday in St. Louis. The team's other returner, Kyle Williams, suffered a concussion in the game. His teammates today said it seemed as if Williams was back to normal after the game. If neither Ginn nor Williams could play, the top option at punt returner likely would be safety Reggie Smith, who returned punts at Oklahoma, and Kendall Hunter, who returned kickoffs in the preseason.

Receiver Joshua Morgan was out of his walking boot for the first time on Saturday. Morgan said the initial prognosis had him in a cast at this point after he broke his leg on Oct. 9. The receiver, however, is ahead of schedule. One of the nine screws he had inserted into the leg has been removed and Morgan was in high spirits today.

After the injury, Jim Harbaugh said the 49ers intended to extend Morgan's contract. (The current one expires in March). Morgan, however, is unlikely to sign a new deal until free agency begins.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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