Frank Gore

49ers RB Hightower trades in Gore's old number for new jersey

49ers RB Hightower trades in Gore's old number for new jersey

New 49ers running back Tim Hightower was issued his first number with the 49ers.

And he seemed to disagree with the new equipment staff’s decision to outfit him with No. 21.

That jersey number was not assigned the past two seasons – since Frank Gore left the 49ers as a free agent to sign with the Indianapolis Colts. Gore is the 49ers’ all-time leading rusher and ranks eighth in NFL history.

Among the hashtags that Hightower posted on Instagram along with his locker name plate “Hightower 21,” were “#numbertheygaveme,” “#willbechanged” and #numbershouldberetired.”

It did not take long for Hightower to be issued a new number. Just hours later, Hightower was assigned No. 26, which was formerly worn by cornerback Tramaine Brock. The 49ers on Friday released Brock just hours after news of his arrest after a domestic violence incident.

Hightower has played six NFL seasons. He wore No. 34 with the Arizona Cardinals at the beginning of his career and the past two seasons with the New Orleans Saints. In 2011, he wore No. 25 with Washington.

Legendary 49ers running back Joe “The Jet” Perry’s No. 34 with the 49ers is retired, and Jimmie Ward is No. 25.

Former 49ers RB Gore wins 2016 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award

Former 49ers RB Gore wins 2016 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award

Frank Gore of the Indianapolis Colts is the winner of the 2016 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. The announcement of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award was made at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special recognizing the NFL's best players, performances and plays from the 2016 season that will air nationally tonight at 8 PM ET/PT on FOX.

The award, which was founded in 2014 in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney Sr., recognizes the NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of outstanding sportsmanship on the playing field, including fair play, respect for opponents and integrity in competition.

Gore will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice.

A 12-year NFL veteran, Gore ranks eighth in NFL history with 13,065 rushing yards and is one of only five players in league annals with at least 13,000 rushing yards and 400 receptions in his career. Gore joined the Colts prior to the 2015 season after a 10-year stint with the San Francisco 49ers, where he rushed for a franchise record 11,073 yards and 64 touchdowns. A five-time Pro Bowler and 2006 AP All-Pro selection, he was a third-round draft choice of San Francisco in 2005.

The winner of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award is determined by a vote of current NFL players. Previous recipients of the award include Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals (2014) and Charles Woodson of the Oakland Raiders (2015).

Each NFL team nominated one of its players for the award, which recognizes players who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field. A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community selected eight finalists (four in the AFC; four in the NFC) from the 32 nominees. The panel of Legends Coordinators was comprised of Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler.  

The eight finalists were listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award when players voted on December 16, 2016. From the eight finalists, each team's players submitted a consensus vote of its choice for the winner. As in Pro Bowl voting, a team could not vote for its own player.

The finalists, featuring four players from each conference, were linebacker Brian Cushing (Houston), Gore, tight end Greg Olsen (Carolina), linebacker Julius Peppers (Green Bay), running back Darren Sproles (Philadelphia), tackle Joe Staley (San Francisco), linebacker Demarcus Ware (Denver) and guard/tackle Marshal Yanda (Baltimore).

NFL media services

Gore makes history, rushes for over 1,000 yards at 33 years old

Gore makes history, rushes for over 1,000 yards at 33 years old

BOX SCORE

INDIANAPOLIS -- Andrew Luck threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jack Doyle with 9 seconds left Sunday to give the Indianapolis Colts a 24-20 victory over Jacksonville in their season finale.

Indy (8-8) went 75 yards in 84 seconds with no timeouts to avoid its first losing season since 2011, sending retiring linebacker Robert Mathis out with a win in his final NFL game.

Jacksonville (3-13) matched the second-worst record in franchise history after blocking a punt with 1:54 to go and breaking a 17-17 tie with 1:33 left.

Instead, Luck took the Colts right downfield for the score. He finished 24 of 40 with 321 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in a game full of milestones.

Mathis extended his league record of strip-sacks to 41 in the fourth quarter, two days after announcing he would retire.

Frank Gore ran 16 times for 62 yards, becoming the fourth player in league history to top 1,000 yards at age 33 or older. He's also the oldest to achieve the milestone since John Riggins in 1984 at age 35, and he's the first Colts to run for 1,000 since Joseph Addai in 2007 - ending the second-longest active streak in the NFL.

Luck finished with than 4,000 yards passing for the third time in four years on a day Hall of Fame executive Bill Polian was inducted into the Colts' Ring of Honor at halftime.

That combination put this game, with no playoff implications, in a secondary role.

Jacksonville scored the first 17 points: a 47-yard field goal, a 14-yard touchdown pass from Blake Bortles to Ben Koyack and a 57-yard TD run by Corey Grant, who finished with 122 yards.

But the Colts finally got themselves righted late in the first half, cutting the halftime deficit to 17-3.

Indy opened the third quarter with Robert Turbin's 7-yard TD run and tied the score on a 15-yard TD pass from Luck to Dwayne Allen with 12 seconds to go.

THE WAITING GAME

T.Y. Hilton came into Sunday with the most yards receiving in the NFL and a chance to become the first Colts to win the receiving title since Reggie Wayne in 2007.

After padding his lead with six catches for 95 yards, he still wasn't sure if it would be enough to hold off his nearest competition, New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Atlanta receiver Julio Jones. Both played in late afternoon.

UP NEXT

Both teams must now sort out their coaching situation.

Jacksonville has already fired Gus Bradley. After installing Doug Marrone as interim coach, the Jags broke a nine-game losing streak - the longest in franchise history - before this loss.

Indy's second straight playoff absence has put the futures of coach Chuck Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson in jeopardy despite going (48-31) and never having a losing season during their five-year tenures.

Soon, all three will know whether they've done enough to retain their jobs.