Frank Gore on Wednesday said he initially was “kind of bitter” at the 49ers but has since accepted that his departure was merely business as usual in the NFL.
Gore is San Francisco’s all-time leading rusher and was coming off his fourth consecutive 1,100-yard season in 2014. With his contract set to expire, the 49ers offered him only a one-year deal. He instead joined the Indianapolis Colts on a three-year, $12 million deal.
During a conference call Gore said it was clear the team wanted Carlos Hyde, whom they selected in the second round in 2014, to be their new workhorse runner.
“They had a young guy and Trent Baalke drafted him and that’s who they wanted to play,” Gore said. “They wanted to go in a new direction. What can I do? I just know that when I left, I left on good terms.”
Never miss a local story.
Gore said he had no ill will toward his former team. In fact, he sounded like a fan, saying he thought they were heading in the right direction and could soon be back atop the NFC West. “I don’t think Seattle’s how they used to be,” he said.
Gore said he was impressed with San Francisco’s young defensive line and seemed particularly interested in strong safety Jaquiski Tartt, who he said was “around the ball a lot.”
“I’d been there 10 years,” Gore said of the 49ers. “That’s what I bleed. I was bitter that first year, but that’s the business. That’s the business. I did right for that organization, played hard. What can they say but great things about me? I want to see them do great.”
Et cetera – Receiver Marquise Goodwin, who suffered a concussion on Sunday, was limited Wednesday and practiced in a blue, non-contact jersey. Goodwin suffered three concussions last year as a member of the Buffalo Bills and Kyle Shanahan said the 49ers would be as “delicate” as possible with the injury.
▪ Running back Matt Breida (ankle) was limited and also wore a blue jersey. Linebacker Dekoda Watson (groin), safety Adrian Colbert (hamstring), linebacker Reuben Foster (ankle) and safety Eric Reid (knee) did not practice. Tackle Joe Staley, linebacker NaVorro Bowman and defensive end Elvis Dumervil did not practice due to their veteran status.
▪ Colts coach Chuck Pagano said quarterback Andrew Luck would not play Sunday. Luck had surgery in January to repair a partially torn labrum in his throwing shoulder and only has begun practicing again this week. Instead, Jacoby Brissett will start his fourth game.