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Patrick Willis Hopes to Return Week 9 vs. Rams

Posted Oct 17, 2014

Although he won’t be on the field on Sunday night, the Pro Bowl linebacker doesn’t expect to be sidelined for an extended period of time.

Shortly before the San Francisco 49ers departed for Denver on Friday, Patrick Willis (toe) was ruled out of the team’s Week 7 matchup against the Broncos.

But although he won’t be on the field come Sunday night, the Pro Bowl linebacker doesn’t expect to be sidelined for an extended period of time.

When asked if he anticipates playing in the 49ers first game following their bye on Nov. 2 against the St. Louis Rams, Willis replied, “Yes sir, I really do.”

Willis suffered the injury early in the third quarter on Monday and did not practice this week while wearing a walking boot on his left foot. He classified the injury as a strained muscle in the toe.

“No one ever wants to go through injuries, especially not myself,” Willis said. “I’ve had a few of them, but like I said, I’m grateful it’s not worse than it is. I’m feeling good; each day it’s a little bit better.”

Taking Willis’ place in the starting lineup versus the Broncos will be Chris Borland. The rookie linebacker recorded two tackles and two pass breakups in a relief effort against the Rams.

“I have complete confidence in him,” Willis said. “Chris is a good football player; he has a knack for the football. We have a lot of guys that believe in him, so I know he’ll come through for us.”

Willis isn’t sure if he will wear an earpiece on the sidelines, but he will act as an extra coach and pair of eyes just as his good friend NaVorro Bowman has done through the first six games.

One thing Willis will try to avoid, however, is overwhelming Borland with too much information.

“If there are little things I can get to him, I will. But at the end of the day, he’s still a rookie and you don’t want to put too much on him,” Willis said. “He’s going to go out there and do what needs to be done.”

As for who will lead the 49ers in their pregame huddle, Willis said he’ll likely let a teammate – perhaps Colin Kaepernick – fill the void.

“We’ll decide on gameday,” he said. “I’ll probably bequeath it to Kap or let one of the other guys.”

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