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Patrick Willis Questionable to Play vs. Texans

Posted Oct 4, 2013

Patrick Willis was a limited participant in practice again on Friday, leaving his status in question for Sunday night's game at Candlestick Park.

It remains unclear whether Jim Harbaugh and his 49ers will have Patrick Willis in uniform for Week 5.

Harbaugh said after Friday afternoon’s practice that the six-time Pro Bowl linebacker would be questionable to play against the Houston Texans on Sunday night at Candlestick Park.


Willis (groin) was a limited participant at practice Wednesday through Friday. He did not play in San Francisco’s impressive Week 4 win over the St. Louis Rams, in which fellow inside ‘backer NaVorro Bowman excelled.

“We’ll see what the chances are tomorrow and the next day,” Harbaugh said.

If Willis is unable to play, Harbaugh’s next man up would be Michael Wilhoite. The coach called the reserve a “trusted agent.”

“He’s done a nice job in games and practice,” Harbaugh said, referencing Wilhoite’s four-tackle performance in St. Louis.

Vic Fangio has been similarly impressed with Wilhoite’s play in Willis’ stead. San Francisco’s defensive coordinator also noted the challenges he will face against the Texans. Houston boasts a pair of pass-catching tight ends in Owen Daniels and Garrett Graham, who have combined for 30 catches and six touchdown receptions in four games.

“Well, he’s got a tough assignment,” Fangio said Thursday. “These guys are an excellent passing team and running team. It’s the ‘ILBs’ that have a harder test in deciphering run or pass against this play-action game and being sound in their coverage but yet being good playing the run also.”