SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Perhaps Patrick Willis' toe injury is giving him more problems than he anticipated when he said he expected to return after the bye week before Oct. 19's game against the Broncos.
Willis is officially listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams as his toe injury continues to nag him, even after he spent his bye week treating the injury.
"I still feel it. I can’t lie and say I don’t feel anything and it feels amazing," Willis said Friday. "But it’s just one of the things you just have to work through. It could bother me the rest of the season or it could go away."
The seven-time Pro-Bowler has never had a toe injury before. He participated, but was limited in all three practices this week.
"It’s my big toe. Big toe is my foundation," Willis said. "At the end of the day, you don’t want to do anything crazy and come back too fast and then you end up tearing up something else. Right now it’s a game-time decision, you just take it one day at a time."
It's a sprained muscle in the big toe for Willis, and not a hyper-extension, otherwise known as "turf toe," which can keep players sidelined for much more prolonged periods.
Rookie third-round pick Chris Borland got the start at "Mike" linebacker in Willis' absence in Denver, when the 49ers allowed Peyton Manning and the Broncos' offense to score 42 points and rack up a season-worst 419 yards.
Corner Tramaine Brock, who returned from his toe injury suffered in the season opener before the bye week against the Broncos, is also listed as questionable.
LATTIMORE MISSES PRACTICE FRIDAY
Head coach Jim Harbaugh wouldn't offer specifics, other than to say Lattimore "hung back in the training room" while the team took part in its final on-field preparation for the Rams.
"We’ll see what exactly it is, (when) we have some more information for you," Harbaugh said.
A setback just three days into the opening of his 21-day practice window would be bad news for the South Carolina alum, who is two years removed from his gruesome knee injury that ended his collegiate career. But there's also a chance he sat out to deal with soreness typical of a player that hasn't gone through contract drills in more than two years.
CB Chris Culliver (hamstring), S Jimmie Ward (quadricep)
CB Tramaine Brock (toe), LB Patrick Willis (toe)
C Tim Barnes (shoulder), WR Kenny Britt (hip), S Cody Davis (concussion), DE William Hayes (foot), CB Trumaine Johnson (knee), S Lamarcus Joyner (hip), CB Marcus Roberson (ankle), T Rodger Saffold (shoulder), C Scott Wells (elbow)
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