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Vernon Davis, Patrick Willis, Ray McDonald injury update: What we know, what it means

The 49ers have another fairly involved injury report for their Week 6 matchup with the Cardinals. We break down some of the notable names, including Vernon Davis, Patrick Willis and Ray McDonald. New to Niners Nation? Sign up here and join the discussion!


The San Francisco 49ers face off against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 6, and once again the 49ers are dealing with a fairly lengthy injury list. For the second straight week, the 49ers once have eight players listed as questionable. Most are once again expected to play.

We had a brief breakdown of the injury report on Friday, but once again, I wanted to focus in on a few of the more pertinent players on the questionable list. The questionable players are Nnamdi Asomugha, Alex Boone, Anthony Davis, Jonathan Goodwin, Ray McDonald, Carlos Rogers, Justin Smith and Patrick Willis.

Vernon Davis

What we know: OK, right off the bat, we're starting with a probable player instead of a questionable player. Vernon Davis has been working off a hamstring injury since Week 2 against the Seahawks. He sat out Week 3 as a game-day scratch, and then was questionable but playing Week 4 and Week 5. He has been listed as a full participant in practice all three days this week.

What it means: Having Vernon Davis closer to 100 percent is a huge boost. He has made plays the last two weeks, with a pair of touchdowns, but getting him 100 percent only adds to that. Aside from Davis and Anquan Boldin, the 49ers have nobody stepping up in the passing game, so a healthy Davis is big.

Prediction: Davis plays. There's no way he doesn't play.

Patrick Willis

What we know: The 49ers inside linebacker has now missed two straight games with a groin injury suffered late in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts. He sat out practice leading up to the Rams game, but returned in limited form all three days in Week 4. He was listed as questionable, last week, but didn't play. This week he was once against listed as limited all three days, but has indicated he feels better.

What it means: The 49ers are continuing to get a lot from Michael Wilhoite. He has now started two straight games, and has looked sharp in both. The team needs to get Willis back, but Wilhoite is buying them a whole lot of time. A groin injury is always tricky, and the team does not want to aggravate it.

Prediction: Willis plays. All signs are incredibly positive thus far. That being said, I'm still in that 60 to 70 percent confidence range given the play of Wilhoite.

Ray McDonald

What we know: McDonald suffered a partial tear of a bicep tendon last week against the Texans. He sat out practice Wednesday and Thursday, and then was a limited participant on Friday. McDonald has said he will play through the injury, and have surgery in the offseason.

What it means: The belief is it should not impact his strength at this point, but you have to think there will be some signs of wear and tear at some point. We don't know when, but any injury to the arms of a defensive player raise serious red flags. We're left to hope for the best.

Prediction: McDonald plays. All signs point to him playing through the injury, with it basically being a pain management issue.

Jonathan Goodwin

What we know: Goodwin missed Friday's practice session with what Cam Inman described as likely a flu bug. According to Inman, there is a rumor the flu is going around, and Goodwin looked in rough shape on Thursday.

What it means: Hopefully it is just a quick bug that gets out of his system. The 49ers have the edge over the Cardinals on the line, but they'll want Goodwin as close to 100 percent as possible.

Prediction: Goodwin plays, although you have to wonder if we'll catch him throwing up at some point.

Nnamdi Asomugha

What we know: Nnamdi suffered a knee injury in the 49ers Week 3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, and has been listed as questionable ever since. After a week off from practice, Nnamdi has been listed as a limited participant each session the last two weeks. He has sat out the last two games.

What it means: Tramaine Brock replaced Nnamdi as the nickel back the last two weeks, and has looked great. Vic Fangio did indicate Nnamdi could end up a healthy scratch at some point, but it seems for now the knee is still some sort of issue. It is quickly reaching a point where it won't matter, however, given Brock's performance.

Prediction: Nnamdi is inactive. Even if he was healthy, I suspect he would be inactive.


Anthony Davis and Alex Boone were both listed as questionable with shoulder issues, but both have played through whatever is going on. They should be fine. Carlos Rogers and Justin Smith are also both listed as questionable, but they would seem to be good to go.

49ers Injury Report

Out: WR Quinton Patton (foot)

Questionable: CB Nnamdi Asomugha (knee), G Alex Boone (shoulder), T Anthony Davis (shoulder), C Jonathan Goodwin (illness), DT Ray McDonald (biceps), CB Carlos Rogers (knee), DT Justin Smith (shoulder), LB Patrick Willis (groin)

Probable: 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 Injury Report

Questionable: LB Kenny Demens (hamstring), WR Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring)

Probable: LB John Abraham (shoulder), LB Jasper Brinkley (groin), G Daryn Colledge(shin), DT Darnell Dockett (groin), S Rashad Johnson (finger), LB Kevin Minter (hamstring), DE Ronald Talley (wrist), LB Daryl Washington (knee)

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