The 49ers will be tasked with winning back-to-back games without Patrick Willis.
Willis was among San Francisco's seven inactive players, announced 90 minutes prior to the team's Sunday night game opposite the visiting Houston Texans.
Battling a groin injury suffered during the team's Week 3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, the six-time Pro Bowler was a limited participant in practice this week. Defensive tackle teammate Justin Smith had pronounced Willis good to go early in the week before the middle linebacker himself and Jim Harbaugh tempered that enthusiasm.
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Reserve Michael Wilhoite was slated to start in Willis' place alongside fellow inside 'backer NaVorro Bowman, the star of the 49ers Week 4 win in St. Louis.
Quarterback John Skelton also did not suit up for what would have been his 49ers debut. The team signed the signal-caller on Wednesday, and he is no doubt in the progress of learning Harbaugh's playbook.
The other notable inactive player for San Francisco was cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (knee), who was a limited participant in practice throughout the week. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said this week that he felt comfortable with Tramaine Brock as the team's nickel defensive back.
Rookie wideout Quinton Patton, who suffered a fracture of his foot in St. Louis, was also not in uniform for Sunday's game. Joining him on the sideline: linebacker Jermaine Cunningham, guard Joe Looney and wide receiver Chris Harper.
The Texans inactive players were as follows: quarterback Case Keenum, wide receiver Lestar Jean, linebacker Tim Dobbins, offensive tackle Andrew Gardner, offensive guard Brandon Brooks as well as defensive ends Sam Montgomery and Tim Jamison.