The hip injury that 49ers RB Frank Gore suffered Monday night will sideline him for the rest of the season, NFL Network's Jason La Canfora is reporting. La Canfora attributes the information to "a source with knowledge of the situation."
Gore unleashed runs of 25 and 15 yards on San Francisco's opening drive of a 27-6 victory at Arizona, but he left the game later in the drive. Gore returned to the field for the first two plays of the 49ers' next drive but then went out again and spent the rest of the first half on the sideline without his helmet. He finished the game with 52 yards on five carries.
The way we see it
A season-ending injury to Gore would be a huge loss for the Niners, since he's the focal point of an offense that has had to overcome inconsistent QB play. At 4-7, the 49ers are only one game behind the two division leaders, Seattle and St. Louis, but the loss of Gore will make it very difficult for San Francisco to move past their rivals, even in the weak NFC West.
The loss of Gore immediately boosts the value of backup Brian Westbrook, who rushed 23 times for 136 yards and a touchdown Monday night. He's likely to become the team's featured back now, although rookie Anthony Dixon could prove useful to fantasy owners, too, primarily as a goal-line runner. The absence of Gore also may mean fewer runs and more pass plays, which could result in somewhat better fantasy numbers for QB Troy Smith.