Report: Patrick Willis fractures right hand

ESPN just reported Patrick Willis slightly fractured his right hand yesterday in practice. Willis apparently broke his hand when he crashed into Bruce Miller in a blitz pickup drill. Chris Mortensen tweeted Willis will be “ready for regular season.”

Do you think this injury could affect Willis’ season in any way? Why or why not?

  1. No. He has 4 weeks to heal and he is very used to playing with a cast on his hand from twice in college and twice in the pros. Remember when Chad Johnson coined the nickname “Bam Bam”? He’s back!!

      1. This is his 3rd hand fracture since 2007, and the previous 2 times it did little to slow him down.

        If anything you’d have to imagine that big club might make it harder for a receiver to focus on the ball.

      2. Yes. But I think he is healthy and playing without a cast by week one. Hand fractures heal quick. Really it means we put our best defensive player on Ice until the season starts and don’t risk serious injury.

  2. No P Willie is good. No worries. He might not get an INT for awhile, but he can still make plays. Sooo thankful it wasn’t more serious

  3. Grant, the coverage question is a good one. If he’s wearing the full BAM BAM cast in weeks 1-2, then he will probably not draw TE coverage responsibilities and Bowman will draw more of the TE responsibilities. Willis and Bowman are interchangeable as far as responsibilities.

    I wish Willis weren’t hurt, but a slight hand fracture should heal up in 6-8 weeks.

    1. Willis played very few snaps in Week 1 last year against the Packers. The same will probably be true this year. His test will be Week 2 against a team that brings a balanced attack from multiple personnel groupings.

    2. P.Willie can still make a play on the ball in coverage. No INT, but he could simply knock the ball away etc. It’s all good.

      Nothing to see here folks

  4. A hand fracture is what 4-6 weeks max? Making him healed by the start of the season. Worst case scenario he wears cast on his hand for the first game or two. It won’t affect his game much, he doesn’t get INTs anyway.

  5. He will be fine. thought this to be funny though Chiefs OC said Alex Smith is the best quarterback in the league. I think Alex is a good QB but not even in the top 10.

    1. Its Alex has these powers to control everyone judegement, but only for about 3-4 years, then they snap out of it.

      But in all seriousness, I really like Alex andhope he has a great career in KC.

      I’ll be watching a lot of chiefs’ game this season.

    2. What the Chiefs OC might not know is that Alex Smith is a notoriously better practice QB then game QB. (I like Alex Smith BTW) August is definitely optimism month in the NFL.

      I’ll be rooting for Alex Smith for several reasons… It would be a great story if he succeed. Also if KC goes 7-9 the 49ers get their 2014 mid 3rd round pick. If KC goes 8-8 it turns into a mid 2nd rounder. A huge draft value swing. I’m rooting for KC to get to 8 wins quickly, then fall apart.

    3. Chiefs Off coordinator Doug Pederson would be outstanding at stand up comedy. This guy was a failure as a qb (threw almost double amount of INT’s than TD’s). Had like a qb rating of about 60! Lol…..He knows quarterbacks.

      1. His career numbers are 81 TD’s and 63 Ints Crab.

        I get a lot of people don’t like the guy because he didn’t live up to the expectations, but the way some of you throw out opinions and false information makes me shake my head. You don’t have to like him, but you don’t have to exaggerate the negatives either.

        He’s obviously nowhere near the level Pederson described but he wasn’t a failure in SF either. His perseverance should be commended for what he had to go through and where he was as a player when he left.

      2. Rocket,

        You might want to read Crab’s post again. He was not referencing Alex Smith’s stats. In fact, he never references Smith directly at all, and clearly “this guy” and “he” refer to Pederson, not Smith.

      3. JPN,

        You are right and thanks for pointing out my mistake. After reading it again it appears I took the intent wrong. I’ve read so many negative posts about Smith I just assumed it was him Crab was referring to instead of Pederson as a player.

        My sincere apologies Crab15.

  6. If it gives him problems I think he will cut it off during a game an go back out there with one hand. RL did it with his finger. :-)

    1. What? Lynch is tough to bring down, but come’ on man, everybody knows Willis [especially opposing RB's] is one of the [if not the best] tackler in the entire NFL.

      1. I’m not saying he isn’t, but Lynch gives us problem every game. He usually doesn’t go down until the 6th or 7th guy.

  7. NFL Network is reporting that Lattimore isn’t expected to be cleared to play until week 10. Ugh.
    I know there are a lot of Baalke fans on here, but I am not happy with his progress. Last year, he picked up AJ Jenkins with an early pick that wasn’t deserved. This year he picked up Lattimore who also won’t contribute his rookie year. I think they better start painting some more Handicap placards at 4949 Centennial Blvd. -Thanks Baalke. At least someone will get a part time job…

    1. I understand the AJ comment. But I think we should all hold our final judgement until after this season.

      As for the Lattimore remark, Come on Man!
      We all knew, apparently except you, that he would possibly be out this entire year. We gave up a 4th round pick to draft someone who could be the heir to Gore. Lattimore has tremendous upside, and if he doesn’t work out then all it was was a 4th round pick. Low risk, high reward.

      So out of the dozens of picks Baalke has had his hand in you site 2 “possibly” bad picks as reason to dislike him.
      You can’t hit on every pick, no one does, but you gotta hit a lot more than you miss, and that’s what he’s done to this point.

      1. Lattimore is an example of what Baalke has done the last two years. He gets players early (top 4 rounds)who aren’t going to contribute. However, the inevitable Injuries make it essential that you be able to count on your rookies to contribute.

        Kyle Williams, Anthony Dixon, Kendall Hunter, and Bruce Miller are all later round selections that gave the team exceptional value.
        Here’s their draft though in 2012 and 2011.

        1 (30) – A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois (o receptions, not developing probably not on 2014 squad)
        2 (61) – LaMichael James, RB, Oregon ( good pick)
        4 (117) – Joe Looney, OG, Wake Forest (0 games played)
        5 (165) – Darius Fleming, OLB, Notre Dame (cut 2013 o games played * history of injury)
        6 (180) – Trent Robinson, FS, Michigan State (probably not making 2013 team)
        6 (199) – Jason Slowey, OL, Western Oregon (TBD if on 2013 squad)
        7 (237) – Cam Johnson, DE/OLB, Virginia (dressed 2 games DNP)

        So we back up to 2011:

        1. Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri (A+ but should be at #7)
        2. Colin Kapernick, QB, Nevada(A+)
        3. Chris Culliver, CB, South Carolina (C-)
        4. Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State(A)
        5. Daniel Kilgore, OL, Appalachian State (17 games for a 5th rounder. Great value pick at a spot later than 2013′s Lattimore who isn’t a contributor)
        6. Ronald Johnson, WR, USC (cut)
        7. Colin Jones, S, TCU (cut)
        8. Bruce Miller, DL/FB, Central Florida(A++ for a 7th rounder exceptional value again later round contributor)
        9. Michael Person, OL, Montana State (cut)
        10. Curtis Holcomb, CB, Florida A&M (cut)

        In 2010 he was high on Taylor Mays and took him with the 49th pick overall. (cut) (

        Baalke has done exceptionally well in contract negotiations. He however has made some big missteps early in the draft. Lattimore would have been available probably well into the 6th or 7th round. There aren’t many teams in the NFL that can sit a rookie and are willing to sacrifice a pick for such a huge ???.

        Jenkins wasn’t on anyone’s 1st round board. He was listed as the 8th best receiver available. The same can be said about Taylor Mays.

      2. Look around the league and find a GM who has done a better job in the past few years Matt. Nobody hits on everything. The Jenkins pick is looking shaky but the book isn’t closed yet. When you have a talented team like this one is, a lot of draftpicks aren’t going to make it, so a way to get around that is taking players who are better than where they are drafted due to injury and letting them sit on the injured list for a year.

        Lattimore may have been available later or he may not have. You don’t know and I don’t know, but the Niners thought enough of him that they didn’t want to risk another round. Instead of trying to analyze drafts in a year or two, how about you try to exercise some patience and wait to see how it plays out? Rookie contracts are longer than one or two years for a reason; sometimes it takes a little longer for them to pan out.

      3. To be honest Matt after reading your last post, it seems to make more of an argument of how good Baalke has done. Those are a lot of hits, mainly in the rounds 1-4, which is where it counts.

        Like I said you hit way more than you miss.

        And Culliver is a C+ to B- range, with the potential to improve to a B+ this season.

      4. Matt, Slowey was cut last season when the 49ers went down to 75, so I don’t understand the TBD for this season. As far as I know he isn’t in any teams camp right now.

        Colin Jones was traded to the Panthers. He wasn’t cut.

      5. I would dispute that Jack. Baalke has been the GM with final say for 3 drafts now and the one in charge for the last 4, and if you put those 4 drafts up against the last 4 for the Ravens, I would rank the Niners ahead. It’s obviously based on personal opinion of the players, but I think the Niners have drafted better and more impactful players in that stretch then the Raven’s have. Great discussion topic if nothing else.

        It would take up a lot of space to put all the info in this post so I’ll post the Link to and the Niner draft history. You can access the Raven’s recent drafts from the drop down above.

      6. I see that Matt and his clairvoyance are back. It’s good to see that he still knows when other teams would have drafted players. There was absolutely no need to trade up for Reid, and Lattimore was definitely going to last until the 6th or 7th round.

        But, for a clairvoyant, you seem to be shaky on the facts.

        Jason Slowey was cut last year. He’s not in camp this year.

        Taylor Mays was Mike Singletary’s pick. Remember the argument he and Baalke had just prior to the selection?

        Paraag Marathe negotiates the contracts.

        But he’s correct about it being essential for a team’s rookies to contribute. If only the 49ers had gotten significant contributions from its rookies last year, the team might have made it to the Super Bowl.

      7. @ Leo, the last 2 years, meaning 2013 and 2012. 2011, he had a great draft. Then he deviated from that greatness. It’s sort of hard to miss when you’re picking in the top 10 of the first four rounds like he did in 2011 and 2010. Since having success, which is what the draft is all about and why bad teams pick first, Baalke has trended downward. That’s what those stats were meant to show. I should have included this year, 2013 also, but the post was getting long. I meant to link a follow up to the post, but I got distracted. My apologies. Here is the rest of that thought:
        49ERS 2013 DRAFT PICKS

        1. First round (No. 18 overall, from Dallas): Safety Eric Reid, LSU

        2. Second round (No. 40 overall, from Tennessee): Defensive end Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, Florida State (history of injury/starting on PUP)

        3. Second round (No. 55 overall, from Green Bay): Tight end Vance McDonald, Rice

        4. Third round (No. 88 overall, from Green Bay): Outside linebacker Corey Lemonier, Auburn
        5. Fourth round (No. 128 overall): Wide receiver Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech (broken finger nonfootball injury, no contact practice)

        6. Fourth round (No. 131 overall, compensatory): Running back Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
        (pup/projected start of wk10)
        7. Fifth round (No. 157 overall, from Indianapolis): Defensive tackle Quinton Dial, Alabama

        8. Sixth round (No. 180 overall, from Miami): Linebacker Nick Moody, Florida State

        9. Seventh round (No. 237 overall): Quarterback B.J. Daniels, South Florida

        10. Seventh round (No. 246 overall, compensatory): Tackle Carter Bykowski, Iowa State

        11. Seventh round (No. 252 overall, compensatory): Cornerback Marcus Cooper, Rutgers

        We passed on a whole host of CB’s even though that was a team need now. Particularly, Williams out of CAL went to the chargers in the 5th round, and a 6’2 Simon went in the same round to Seattle from LSU. We also passed on Poyer in the 7th round, and Cooper in the 5th. Any of these would have helped shore up a very suspect secondary.

        So instead of addressing needs, the team went for the best player available. Now, we find our secondary even weaker and our questions at receiver broader. It’s my argument that Baalke’s drafts have progressively gotten weaker. His picks are literally in need of a crutch.

      8. Matt,

        You have no clue how any of these guys will do in the NFL. The CB’s you listed were all taken late in the draft for a reason and would not have automatically jumped to the top of the depth chart. You seem to be fixated on positions and names you read on draft sites while ignoring the fact you don’t have 5% of the knowledge about these players that the NFL scouts do.

        GM’s screw up all the time; not because they haven’t done their research but because you can’t tell how a player is going to react to the game as a vocation, money, injury etc. Criticizing a draft that took place 3 months ago is ridiculous. Nobody knows how well this draft will look until a few years down the road.

      9. @ F’ing. You’re absolutely right, I have no clue how any player will perform. I have a BSN and a minor in Emergency Medicine but no education in football. I try to preface all of my comments with this is my opinion. Perhaps instead of writing I’m not happy with his progress, I should have said, in my opinion with no football degrees or any real draft insight outside of what I’ve read online, and no ability to see into the future, it is my uneducated opinion that Baalke is producing weaker drafts-obviously subjective to my definition of strength scales. Perhaps just writing in my opinion will suffice though.

        I listed late round CBs, because it is my opinion that the pick of Lattimore in the 4th round, and the subsequent later picks, were a mistake. So, I listed CBs drafted later that could have addressed holes on the team. I would have liked to have listed the top 5 CBs, but it was irrelevant to the argument.

      10. Matt,

        I’m not trying to single you out. We are all wanna be GM’s around here. Without opinions there is no blog so don’t stop giving them. I just read what you wrote and wanted to respond because I think sometimes as fans we think we know more than we actually do.

        What you need to ask yourself is why did the GM draft that player over another? In this case your disagreement is with Lattimore being taken ahead of a CB that could have been chosen instead. In my opinion, the reason you take Lattimore over one of those CB’s, is because he’s a first round caliber talent that is falling because of injury and the long term benefits of a player of his talent level, outweigh the fact he isn’t going to be ready to play right away.

        Look at it another way: The Niners took an injured RB coming off of two ACL tears, with a 3rd round pick in 2005 because he was a first round talent that slid to the 3rd round due to injury. That’s worked out pretty well, and while I am not comparing Lattimore to Gore, the same rationale comes into play in regards to the decision to draft a Blue Chip player with an injury over a lesser player at another position. Teams that look at talent over position of need tend to have better teams in the long run and I think that is definitely the case in SF.

    2. When Lattimore was drafted they said he wouldn’t be ready until next year so week 10 is a good sign plus a lot of people said he might be the steal of the draft. Balke may or may not have missed on Jenkins, up until last year everyone wanted Crabtree gone and said he was a bust.

    3. The Niners had a lot of picks and not enough places to put them all which is why they had the ability to draft Lattimore and give him a year to recover. If healthy Lattimore was arguably the best RB in the draft, so to get him for a 4th round pick, red shirt him for a year and then have him ready to go in 2014, is a luxury the Niners had because of how talented they are overall.

      The two I’m more concerned about are Carradine and Dial because I expected them to be further along than they appear to be right now. Even then, I’m not stressing too much because there is a lot of time to go.

      The AJ pick is questionable until he does something I agree. If he continues to disappoint it will be a black mark on Baalke’s resume, but overall Baalke has been pretty solid.

    4. @ F’ing I believe Atlanta’s GM has had long term success with less early selections. Thomas Dimitroff. Les Snead with STL has put together a talented squad but TBD. Mark Dominik has done well in FA for Tampa Bay. I’d probably also place Ryan Grigson ahead of Baalke. He took a winless team and made them a playoff team in 1 year.

      @ Space, I thought Jones was waived. I saw reports by Matt Barrows he was. I missed Slowey though. Thank you. Here’s what I have on C. Jones. Colin Jones was waived by SF 9/13/11 -Matt Barrows via twitter. (

      @ Claude, I’m by no means saying Baalke is psychic. I am just pointing to a preponderance of the evidence. Does this team need a Frank Gore replacement in 2013 or does this team need to address the holes magnified in the post season and in the Super Bowl? It appeared Hunter and James were great backs for SF in 2012. There is a downward trend. The team did not address needs but instead went after talent. That didn’t work for Philly. I doubt it will work in SF. The greatest thing about this prediction, if I’m wrong, SF is successful and that makes me a heck of a lot happier than being right.

      1. Good examples Matt, but I would put Baalke’s drafts up against any of them and rate them higher because of all the impact and pro bowl caliber talent he’s amassed overall. The fact the Niners went to the SB with little to no contribution from their draft class last year tells you all you need to know about how good this team is from the top of the roster to the bottom.

  8. When it was reported that PWill left practice with an apparent injured wrist, my initial thought was to keep him from playing pre-season games and not risk any injury because of his value to the team.

    In any case, PWill will do fine because the majority of his tackles are straight-line hits where he puts himself in great position as opposed to reaching and grabbing to make a tackle.

    What would be hampered is his ability to make the interception. He can still put himself in position to knock down passes because of his great coverage skills. But given the injury, missing 1-2 games is easier to swallow.

    Also, Willis is accustomed to playing with a cast on his hand dating back to his playing days in college. Just another piece of equipment for him.

  9. Damn just read a tweet from Barrows that said Culliver went down with a knee injury in a punt drill.

      1. E – it was an ACL? Really? They are dropping like flies.

        Time for teams that went deep into the playoffs to re-examine training camp and conditioning strategies. This is why its so dang hard for teams to return to the Super Bowl.

      2. This concerns me much more than the current slate of minor WR injuries. The loss of Culliver leaves a big hole in an already questionable secondary.

      1. Never a good sign, though, when you hear a player was carted off with his hands covering his face. That usually means that they know it’s probably bad news.

      2. I know it’s likely. However, I’m hoping that’s not the case. Injuries are killing this team. We are in big trouble!

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