Fooch's Update: Matt Barrows is reporting a league source confirmed Willis had thumb surgery.
San Francisco 49ers all-world linebacker Patrick Willis celebrated his 29th birthday Saturday evening, He enjoyed the evening with Takeo Spikes and Justin Smith, among others, and he sent out some pictures from the evening. The collage below provides some potential insight into why Willis decided not to participate in the Pro Bowl.
The pictures show Willis wearing something on his left hand, wrapped up around his thumb. There has been no word on any particular procedure, but I'm guessing something happened to his hand or thumb. Whatever the case, odds seem pretty good that this was the reason he skipped the Pro Bowl.
Every season ends with players healing up bumps and bruises, but it's still crazy how banged up this team seemed to get in that final game. All eight voted in Pro Bowlers backed out for what seemed to be one medical reason or another. Some were bigger than others, but either way, I'm fine keeping them out of the glorified exhibition. I'm glad Eric Reid is getting recognition, but for the other guys, the recognition has been coming for a while now. Even Ahmad Brooks was already second-team All Pro last season. No need to play in an otherwise meaningless game.