For the first time since fracturing his right hand at 49ers training camp on July 31, linebacker Patrick Willis returned back to the practice field on Tuesday. Although he was limited at practice, this is a good sign he will be ready for Week 1 of the regular season.
While wearing a blue non-contact jersey, Willis joined his fellow linebackers for individual drills. He did not catch passes in one drill, but he did participate in bag drills. He then worked out with the Niners’ training staff on a different practice field.
Niner fans should be very encouraged by hearing the news of Willis returning to practice. If you think him practicing in a limited fashion doesn’t mean he will be ready by Week 1, just listen to what his coaches had to say this week when asked about his status.
Jim Harbaugh said “I believe he will” when asked if Willis will start in Week 1. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was a little more detailed with his answer when asked about Willis being available for the season opener:
That’s my impression right now, yes. Now he may have to play with some contraption on his hand for a little bit, but my understanding, he’ll be ready.