Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals-49ers Injury Report: Patrick Willis Eying Comeback From Injury

For the first time since injuring his groin in Week 3, 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis returned to practice. It was on a limited basis on Wednesday and Thursday, but still a good sign he might play against the Arizona Cardinals.

Having Willis return this week will be a big boost for the defense. Not that they really need it. The 49ers are on a two-game winning streak without him, and the defense has allowed only one touchdown and forced six turnovers. A lot of credit goes to backup linebacker Michael Wilhoite who has eased the impact of losing Willis. In two starts, Wilhoite has 20 tackles.

Willis is taking it day-to-day, but if does not suffer any setbacks, he should be in the starting lineup. Everyone knows Patrick will do everything he can to get back on the field.

I’m feeling better, still feeling it, but certainly a lot better than it was. I’m a competitor I want to be out there with my teammates, I just love this game of football. Any time, whether it’s practice or a game, I want to compete. At the same time, too, I’m a team-player and I just want to be honest.

Defensive tackle Ray McDonald did not participate at practice on Wednesday and Thursday. This was by design so McDonald can rest his injured right biceps. All indications point to him playing on Sunday, but how much strength he has in his right arm is a big question. Jim Harbaugh said at his press conference that the team doctors believe he can play without damaging it more. If he cannot go, either Tony Jerod-Eddie or Demarcus Dobbs will start. Jerod-Eddie had an interception last week after he replaced McDonald.

Defensive end Justin Smith returned to practice on Thursday after sitting out on Wednesday with a shoulder injury. He is expected to play this weekend.

A curious player on the injury report was quarterback Colin Kaepernick listed with a foot injury. Reports say Kap was a full participant at practices this week and his injury should not bother him in Week 6. When offensive coordinator Greg Roman was asked about his quarterback’s status, he said:

I’m not going to really talk about the injury report. I’m going to respectfully leave that to coach Harbaugh or (head trainer) Jeff Ferguson.

The Cardinals had a whopping eight players listed as limited at practice on Wednesday. But only four were on the list for Thursday’s practice.  Linebacker Kenny Demens (hamstring) has been held out all week and will not play on Sunday.

One player of note on Arizona’s injury report is wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald who is battling a hamstring injury. Fitzgerald will give it a go and start, but he will be not be the same receiver. Since suffering the injury in the season opener, he has 16 receptions for 208 yards and one touchdown.

Here is Thursday’s full practice report for the 49ers and Cardinals:

 49ers Practice Report

Out (definitely will not play)

WR Quinton Patton (foot)

Did Not Practice

DT Ray McDonald (biceps)

Limited Participation in Practice

CB Nnamdi Asomugha (knee), G Alex Boone (shoulder), T Anthony Davis (shoulder), CB Carlos Rogers (knee), DT Justin Smith (shoulder), LB Patrick Willis (groin)

Full Participation in Practice

TE Vernon Davis (hamstring), RB Frank Gore (knee), G Mike Iupati (shoulder), QB Colin Kaepernick (foot), WR Marlon Moore (quadricep), T Joe Staley (knee), WR Kyle Williams (knee)

Cardinals Practice Report

Limited Participation in Practice

LB Kenny Demens (hamstring), WR Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring), LB Kevin Minter (hamstring), DE Ronald Talley (wrist)

Full Participation in Practice

LB John Abraham (shoulder), LB Jasper Brinkley (groin), G Daryn Colledge (shin), DT Darnell Dockett (groin), S Rashad Johnson (finger), LB Daryl Washington (knee)

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