Normally when I put together the weekly injury reports, I post the combined reports for the two teams. However, this week injuries could have a much more significant impact as both teams are dealing with big names on their reports. We'll start with the San Francisco 49ers Thursday practice participation report.
The report only includes four names, but they have two significant DNPs. Patrick Willis and Joe Staley both sat out Thursday's practice, while Bruce Miller and Braylon Edwards were limited in practice. Miller and Edwards are both dealing with some knee issues, but are expected to play. We'll want to keep an eye on Miller's name through the weekend, but limited appearances in practice have not been a big issue with the 49ers.
The big question marks are Willis and Staley. While Staley has not yet been cleared to return to practice due to his concussion, Willis is still working to recover from his hamstring strain. He sat out against the Cardinals and still has not begun normal running, at least based on what the media can observe.
At this point, it seems likely that Willis will be classified as questionable and his status is seriously in doubt for Monday. It would be nice to have him back on the field, but hamstrings are not worth the risk of aggravation. He is integral to the defense, but I would much rather see him sit another week and get that much closer to 100%.
If you do a search of hamstring injuries across the NFL, you will see some pretty significant players have dealt with them this year. Julio Jones is an example of a player who suffered a hamstring strain and might have come back a little too quickly. He seems back 100% now, but he dealt with some problems during the middle of the season. It just isn't worth that headache.