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SEATTLE – Running back Frank Gore does not know if Sunday’s loss marked his last chance to win a championship with the organization that drafted him in 2005.
Gore does not have a contract for next season. And he could not play a role in the second half of a game the 49ers needed to remain alive in the NFC playoff race.
Gore sustained a concussion late in the first half while blocking Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner. He did not return. Although he did not speak to the media, Gore indicated that he was “fine.”
The 49ers have definitely seen better days.
[RELATED: Gore exits with concussion]
“It sucks,” 49ers left tackle Joe Staley said. “This is not what we play for – not what we practice for. I am not going to sit here and say, ‘Oh, we are going to do it next time.’ It (expletive) sucks.”
Said wide receiver Anquan Boldin, “It’s definitely tough. Especially for me, I’m a competitor, and I feel like I am supposed to win. I can’t tell you the last time I didn’t make the playoffs. It’s tough, but I will continue to fight.”
The 49ers’ 17-7 loss to the Seahawks on Sunday means they have two games remaining in the regular season before the offseason begins.
Gore’s future is in question, though he has said he plans to play again next season – if not for the 49ers, for another team. And respected veteran defensive lineman Justin Smith has yet to decide whether he plans to play a 15th NFL season.
The 49ers had 178 total yards and seven points at halftime. They were shut out in second half, and finished with just 245 yards of total offense.
In the third quarter, backup running back Carlos Hyde sustained a back injury and did not return. That left fullback Bruce Miller and Alfonso Smith, who had not gotten a rushing attempt all season, as the 49ers’ only backs.
“Frank is a phenomenal player,” 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said. “He is one of the big leaders on this team. So to lose him, it was a hit to our offense, but at the same time it was a bigger hit when we lost (Hyde) as well. We had Alfonso and Bruce come in and they are playing their butts off, but it’s not necessarily a situation that we have put them in in the past.”
“It’s tough. Those are the players that you turn to in tough times to make plays and give the offense a lift and put us in a good situation. Not having them is a tough situation for us.”
Gore must pass the NFL’s protocol on concussions in order to be cleared to return to action Saturday against the San Diego Chargers.
Gore had 29 yards and a touchdown on 11 rushing attempts, while Hyde had 55 yards on six rushes.