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Jim Harbaugh Optimistic on Staley, Iupati Injuries

Posted Dec 2, 2013

The 49ers coach provided updates on his injured offensive linemen while noting the need to get Frank Gore going within the offense.

Even after his 49ers 10-point victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday afternoon, Jim Harbaugh had to answer to his father, Jack.

“Why didn’t you run the ball better at the end of the game?” the elder Harbaugh, in town visiting, asked his son.

“It was tough sledding there at the end of the game,” Jim Harbaugh said Monday afternoon. “I get (criticism) from my dad too.”

If we’re picking over leftovers from San Francisco’s eighth win in its 12th game, this is one of note. The Harbaugh-coached offense racked up 275 yards through the air but, uncharacteristically, 83 on the ground.

“It was a good day in the passing game. It needed to be. Teams can sometimes take away one phase or another,” Harbaugh said. “There were some things that were muddy in the run game. We didn’t get things clicking the way we would have liked.”

Read: 49ers Will Need More Gore

This could be an area of focus entering the 49ers Week 13 matchup versus their rival Seattle Seahawks. Jack Harbaugh will visit team headquarters to watch film with his son as the Seahawks counter the New Orleans Saints on “Monday Night Football.”

“We’ll look in on it as we’re going about our regular business,” the coach said of Seattle's primetime matchup.

Part of that business will figuring out how to get running back Frank Gore going behind a makeshift offensive line. Gore rushed for less than 50 yards for the third straight game on Sunday.

Having to be without Pro Bowl offensive lineman Mike Iupati and Joe Staley – the former missed his second straight start, the latter exited during the offense’s first drive – didn’t help. Harbaugh said both were undergoing physical exams on Monday.

Read: Boone Shines at Left Tackle

Of Iupati (knee), who has missed two straight games after starting each of the first 58 games of his career, Harbaugh offered, “Today will be an important day. We’ll check in with him, see how things are tightening up there. Have good hopes.”

On Staley (knee): “Wait and see what his exam reveals, but very hopeful. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.”

Harbaugh added that, after his film review, he was still impressed with the play of Alex Boone, Joe Looney and Adam Snyder against the Rams pass rush. When Staley departed, Boone assumed his left tackle spot and Looney filled in at Boone’s right guard position.

Harbaugh clarified that Looney got the call ahead of fellow reserve Daniel Kilgore because Kilgore has split his practice repetitions between the center and guard slots, while Looney focuses largely on the latter.

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