The 49ers and Cardinals released their Thursday practice participation reports and for the most part everybody that sat out Wednesday was able to get back into the swing of things on Thursday. Many players were limited, but they did get some reps in, which is a big step forward from a DNP.
Frank Gore seems more and more likely to get the start this Sunday. He chatted with the media before practice (video after the jump) and he sounds pretty intent on playing. It's interesting to note his discussion of the Giants loading up the box to stop the run. They figured Alex Smith couldn't beat them if they took away the run, but thankfully Smith proved them wrong. Greg Roman commented on that yesterday before practice:
Has any team this season before the Giants been as extreme about wanting to take the run away and do you anticipate other teams doing that in the future?
"I think that's a great question. To answer your question, no. The Giants took extreme measures. Measures that I have rarely seen in the National Football League. Nice adjustment by them, it really was. Do I anticipate it happening in the future? You never know. You got to be ready to adjust, people can do whatever they want to do. It was definitely something they stressed."
What was so extreme about it?
"It was pretty much a numbers situation. Extremely loaded boxes. You got to go to some high school fields to find that loaded a box. It is what it is and they're a very good team. We were glad to get away with that one but right now it's all about Arizona."
The question now is how future defenses will now adjust to what they saw the 49ers do to the Giants. The 49ers didn't quite destroy the Giants secondary, but they had a lot of success. Teams might still load up against the run, but not to the level of the Giants sending nine and ten guys into the box. This could open the running game back up a bit and create that balance the team is looking for week in and week out.
Frank Gore Interview