SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers will be without the services of at least three of their top running backs for their Week 3 game against the Green Bay Packers.
The team is so thin that the club brought in three veterans for workouts and ended up signing another, Jacques Patrick, off the practice squad of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Many fans of the 49ers asked the obvious question following the 49ers' 17-11 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday: What about Frank Gore?
So . . . what about Frank Gore?
"I think I would never put anything past Frank," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said on Wednesday. "I know if you probably give him a little heads up and some notice he'll always be ready to work and help a team. I thought it was a little early for that. Our guys still have a chance of playing this week.
"So we've never fully ruled that out. I don't know exactly where he is right now, but I've got a number of people in here who have a relationship with him. If that time ever comes that we need to do that and he wants to do it then I would never rule it out.”
Gore, 38, the NFL's No. 3 all-time leading rusher, is reportedly pursuing a career in boxing after 16 NFL seasons.
Gore ranks as the 49ers' all-time leading rusher with 11,073 yards over his first 10 seasons after the 49ers selected him in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft.
Gore's 16,000 career yards places him behind only Emmitt Smith (18,355) and Walter Payton (16,726) in NFL history.
Starting running back Raheem Mostert is out for the season with a knee injury that will require extensive surgery to repair torn cartilage. Jeff Wilson Jr. is slated for a midseason return after undergoing a similar surgical procedure on the offseason.
JaMycal Hasty is heading for injured reserve with a high-ankle sprain, which he sustained on Sunday. Rookie Elijah Mitchell, the 49ers' leading rusher through two games, is nursing a shoulder injury. And Trey Sermon is in the NFL's return-to-play concussion protocol after sustaining a head injury on Sunday.
The 49ers claimed running back Trenton Cannon off waivers last week from the Baltimore Ravens. He was active for the 49ers' game Sunday. He played 13 snaps on special teams and was on the field for one offensive play (one carry for minus-1 yard) after injuries forced him into action.
Shanahan said on Monday that the 49ers were bringing in running backs Duke Johnson, T.J. Yeldon and Lamar Miller for workouts. Instead of those veteran options, the 49ers opted to sign Patrick, 24, who has yet to play in an NFL regular-season game.
The 49ers on Wednesday signed former Washington running back Chris Thompson to join former Detroit back Kerryon Johnson on the practice squad.
Patrick (6-foot-2, 231 pounds) led the Bengals in rushing during the exhibition season summer. He spent all of the 2020 season on Cincinnati's practice squad after appearing in five games for the XFL’s Tampa Bay Vipers that spring. He rushed for 254 yards and two touchdowns on 60 carries.
He was not invited to the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine after a four-year career at Florida State, where he appeared in 45 games with 13 starts. He had 366 carries for 1,790 yards (4.9 average) and 17 touchdowns in his career. He also caught 47 passes for 356 yards and one touchdown.