Frank Gore (Photo Courtesy: Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA (AP) - After a pair of games in the span of five days, a Monday night matchup was a welcome sight on the schedule for the San Francisco 49ers.
With 10 days between the 49ers' 13-6 win against Seattle and a trip to Arizona, coach Jim Harbaugh has the opportunity to give his team some much-needed rest.
The 49ers had the weekend off and, after a light practice Monday, won't practice again until Thursday as preparation for the Cardinals ramps up.
"I spent every waking and asleep moment with my wife and kids," Harbaugh said. "Wonderful weekend, every minute of it was with them."
Despite the arduous task of playing a Thursday night game following a Sunday game, San Francisco can still be considered a generally healthy team.
"I believe it will be, especially as the week goes on," Harbaugh said. "A lot of our guys came in and lifted and got treatment (over the weekend)."
Running back Frank Gore, who left Thursday's game with bruised ribs, was on the field Monday as the team practiced in shells and helmets. He said it was good to move around a little bit and doesn't expect the injury to hinder his play moving forward. "(Running backs coach Tom) Rathman just wanted to be smart (against Seattle)," said Gore, who lamented he could have remained in the game. "We have other backs who can play the game pretty well. He didn't want it to get any worse."
With two days off, Gore's attention will still be on football. "It's basically like a mini bye week," he said. "We appreciate it a whole lot.We get our bodies back. Watch a little film and chill out, relax."
Gore has missed at least one game due to injury in all but one (2006) of his first seven seasons in the NFL coming into this season. Harbaugh said there was no plan to limit Gore's touches in order to preserve him for later in the season.
With 601 yards on 103 carries through seven games, Gore is on pace for 1,373 yards, which would rank as the second-best total of his career. His 5.8 yards per carry is the best average of his career, outpacing his 5.4-yard clip in 2006, when he rushed for a career-high 1,695 yards.
"He's doing a great job," Harbaugh said. "Been very productive when he has had the ball in his hands."
Wide receiver Mario Manningham sat out the game against Seattle due to a shoulder injury sustained in the game against the New York Giants, but he is also expected to play against Arizona.
Manningham's injury occurred on the first play against the Giants, but he stayed in for the rest of the game.
The Associated Press