SANTA CLARA — For weeks, Frank Gore has been pondering the reality he could be playing his final game with San Francisco on Sunday.
He briefly became quiet Tuesday just talking about it, saying he would like nothing more than to return to the 49ers next season. Especially after the way this year went, missing the playoffs following three straight trips to the NFC championship game and a Super Bowl near miss.
“Hopefully I'll be back,” Gore said of the only team he has played for. “The organization, they love me and they respect me.”
San Francisco's all-time leading rusher needs 38 yards Sunday against Arizona for his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season and eighth in his 10 NFL seasons. The Niners (7-8) need to beat the Cardinals to avoid their first losing season under embattled fourth-year coach Jim Harbaugh.