With Thursday morning’s NFL news out of 2013 Training Camp becoming all Riley Cooper, all the time, it is easy to forget that there are actual NFL events taking place today as teams continue to practice with the start of preseason football nearly upon us.
With that naturally comes the injury report, and there is no bigger potential injury out of the early morning practices Thursday than the exit of 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis with a hurt right hand.
According to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, Willis apparently injured the hand during a blitz pickup drill, colliding with fullback Bruce Miller. Willis, per Maiocco, then spent most of the practice with a large wrap on his right hand.
Willis remained on the field for the rest of the practice session, declining to sign autographs after practice by pointing to his hand.
It will be a scary moment for 49ers fans as Willis is the cornerstone to their defense and will be needed at middle linebacker this season to deal with Russell Wilson in the two highly anticipated meetings between Seattle and San Francisco this season. Having one of the NFL’s best linebackers out for any amount of time, even during training camp/preseason is a situation that now team wants to see.
Willis has had two fractures in his hands during his NFL career, and will undergo an X-ray on Thursday, a development first reported by Maiocco, who is covering Niners camp as a beat writer.
Still a slight fracture is a best case scenario when it comes to an injury seeing as you can always tape a hand up or put it in a cast before playing, something that you can’t do with a leg injury or a concussion. Willis should be back in time for Week One, but that doesn’t change the scare in Niners camp as their star linebacker looked to be in some serious pain at the end of practice Thursday.