Gore has to like Pro Bowl chances

Running backs Steven Jackson and DeAngelo Williams are battling injuries late in the season.

The NFC's other Pro Bowl running back, Adrian Peterson, could still be playing for the Vikings when the NFL holds its annual all-star game one week before Super Bowl XLIV.

Those factors could help the 49ers' Frank Gore, named first alternate to the NFC squad, land a spot in the game.

A back injury forced Jackson to miss the Rams' most recent game. An ankle injury has sidelined Williams twice in the Panthers' last four games. The nature of Jackson's injury -- a herniated disc -- could make it tougher to justify playing in what amounts to an exhibition game.