Posted: 8:51 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013
By David Fucillo
We'll take a look at some of the details of yesterday's practice in a bit, but the most important news has to be that 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis injured some part of his hand or wrist. CSN Bay Area is reporting that he will undergo an X-Ray on Thursday to determine the extent of the injury to his right hand. According to the reports from practice, Willis spent much of the session with his hand wrapped in ice.
It sounds like Michael Wilhoite took over the first team inside linebacker role when Willis departed. NaVorro Bowman started practice next to Wilhoite, but left with what is being reported as a groin injury. When he departed, Nate Stupar moved in to the starting lineup next to Wilhoite. Nick Moody and newly-signed Travis Johnson served as backups. Although Johnson played defensive end in college, he is not moving to outside linebacker, but rather much like Darius Fleming, will get a chance at inside linebacker.
It is worth noting that Willis has had to deal with injuries to his right hand before. He played with a broken hand in college, and has broken it again in the NFL in 2007 and 2010. In 2010, he played two games with a cast, and then sat out the season finale. He's generally been a pretty perfect linebacker, but this is obviously one area with cause for concern.
Once we know more about the X-ray results, we'll be able to assess what it means for the 49ers linebacker in the preseason and moving forward. I imagine we won't see much of him on the field next week against the Broncos. And there isn't a ton to gain in the preseason for Willis other than getting rid of any offseason rust.